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SUNY Oswego Remembers Two Students Lost in Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing 25 Years Ago

On December 21—the shortest and darkest day of the year, the SUNY Oswego community will remember two students—Lynne Hartunian ’89 and Colleen Brunner ’90—who were killed 25 years ago in the springtime of their lives during the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

They were returning home from a semester in London when the plane exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing the 259 passengers aboard and 11 people on the ground. Colleen and Lynne, who were both communication studies majors, are remembered fondly for their passion for learning, their welcoming and cheerful personalities and loving ways toward family and friends. 

To honor their memory, the Class of 1989 dedicated a memorial plaque in their honor at the main entrance of campus. 

The Penfield Library houses a memorial display case that holds a plaque, a color photograph of the two girls in London, a representation of the memorial chapel in Scotland and an inspirational sculpture co-designed by former professors William Stark ‘68 and the late Dominick DiPasquale. The copper and brass sculpture depicts a supported globe, encircled by a spiral that opens outward, which was meant to represent the role of international education in achieving peace and understanding throughout the world.

The Brunner and Hartunian families both established scholarships to encourage future generations to embrace education and strive for enlightenment in honor of their daughters. 

Since its inception, the Colleen Brunner Memorial Scholarship at SUNY Oswego has supported 38 students to study abroad and seek deeper understanding of another culture and place. To learn more about this scholarship, please contact scholar@oswego.edu.

The Hartunian family established a scholarship in Lynne’s memory at Niskayuna High School, outside of Schenectady, N.Y. The scholarship has supported 25 graduating high school seniors who have gone on to attend a SUNY college, including three who have attended Oswego.

There will be a special event to pay tribute to the memory of Colleen and Lynne during Reunion 2014, June 5-8. If you’re interested in helping to plan this event, contact Laura Pavlus ’09, interim director of alumni relations, at laura.pavlus@oswego.edu or 315-312-2258. 

Colleen and Lynne’s spirit will forever live on in the Oswego Family through their friends, classmates, families and the scholars who have embraced international study as they did. 


-Margaret Spillett