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Emerson mourns with families of victims

By Patricia Proven
On June 1, 2001

Last week Emersonians mourned the loss of 1988 alumna Jane Simpkin of Wayland; former adjunct faculty member Myra Aronson of Charlestown; and Majestic Theatre benefactor Sonia Puopolo of Dover.

All three died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Jane Simpkin: At home in the world

Simpkin, 36, was one of the 56 passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 175 that hijackers crashed in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, public affairs officer David Rosen said. While attending the college, Simpkin majored in film. She graduated in 1988, and most recently worked at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Simpkin joined the ASCAP staff as licensing manager in December of 1998, according to the company's web site. As a member of her company's Northeast music licensing team, she was traveling to California to attend an ASCAP General Licensing meeting.

"Jane was enthusiastic, very committed, dedicated, energetic, sometimes outspoken, very bright and quite loyal to her team," stated Bonnie King, ASCAP's vice president and director of general licensing. "She will be missed by all of us in general licensing."

ASCAP CEO John A. Lofrumento added, "Jane was a valued member of the ASCAP family and her loss is felt by us all. We send our prayers and deepest sympathy to Jane's family and to all who are suffering in this horrific tragedy."

Just before her death, Simpkin had entered the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover to study criminal law. Colleagues report that she volunteered at the Multiple Sclerosis Society, spent time with prisoners in literacy programs and was an avid follower of the music scene.

Jane is survived by her mother and two sisters.

ASCAP will match any contributions that its employees make to the company's special "ASCAP Employees For Relief" fund, established in Jane's memory.

Sonia Puopolo: Lifetime friend

Puopolo, 58, a long-time member of Friends of The Majestic Theatre, was killed Tuesday while traveling on American Airlines Flight 11, which slammed into the World Trade Center. She was on her way to visit her son in L.A.

Puopolo's daughter, 28-year-old Sonia "Tita" Puopolo, earned an undergraduate degree from Emerson College in 1996 and a master's degree the following year. Puopolo's son, 29-year-old Mark Anthony, also earned a master's from Emerson. Puopolo also leaves another son, Dominic Jr., 35, of Boston.

Her husband of 37 years, Dominic, served on the college's Board of Trustees.

Gregory Payne, an Emerson political communications professor, described Puopolo as an "energetic and vivacious person who lived life to the fullest," as reported in the Berkeley Beacon.

She was active in the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society and Aids Action Committee.

The Puopolo family requests that friends make donations in honor of Puopolo to the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Miami City Ballet, Friends of the Emerson Majestic Theatre or Voices for Children.

Myra Aronson: A missed mentor

Former Emerson faculty member Myra Aronson of Charlestown was also a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11.

Aronson worked in public relations for the Cambridge division of Compuware since May 2000. She taught continuing education and public relations courses at Emerson, most recently last semester, said former chair of the Department of Communication Mary Joyce.

As reported in the Boston Herald, Compuware spokeswoman Lisa Elkin said, "We are devastated by this loss and our sympathies go out to the families and friends of...Myra."

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