William and Mary Rugby Monument at Intramural Field


The following emails were extracted and posted by date. The testimony at the top is the oldest and, hence, nearer in time to the WTC collapse-the context of time may assist you in appreciating each email. Please contact Cary to add your thoughts.Oct 16, 2001

Mark Ludvigsen

Mighty lock forward,former VRU member,former William and Mary rugger,class "91, President of New York Athletic Club RFC, husband of the lovely Maureen Kelly,son of Karl and Christina,brother of Clare was lost in the World Trade Center Collapse Sept 11th, 2001.

Lud with his college mates

Video files on Lud

Gathering at New York Atheletic Club Sat 22 Sept to celebrate the life and times of Lud. Contact Cary for details.

William and Mary Homecomig is Oct 27th. Lud's tenth year reunion. My home is open friday at highnoon and sunday at highnoon---all rugby mates,friends, frat bros, and family of the Luds are welcome to come by for some hospitality.

757 566 4727

This is an extract from Jay Boyd's (lock forward Class 91)email to the editor of this site three days after the World Trade Center collapse and the loss of Mark Ludvigsen (lock forward Class 91).

"Lud's office was on the 89th floor in the second tower which is right above where the second plane hit. I think. His firm stated that 32% of their employees were unaccoundted for---meaning 68% were out of harm's way. If there ever was a guy that I could imagtine would be trying to get other people out of the building ahead of him, or helping anyone that needed help, it would be Lud. He will be missed sorely by all who have known him, and will live in our memories as a man who both on and off the field was a credit to his family name.

Deepest condolences to his wife,Mr and Mrs Ludvigsen,sister Clare,the rest of his family and friends."

Jay Boyd

William and Mary Class 91

p.s. --"One of my fondest memories of Lud is being in a circle singing the "S&M Man" out at Lake Matoaka,with the rest of the team and Mr. Ludvigsen--who as a good Welshman, couldn't pass up a singing opportunity at a rugby party. Subsequently Mr.Ludvigsen botched his verse to the song , and mumbles for "shoot the boot" started to rumble about. Lud stepped up immediately in his father's defense to "take the bullet" for his old man, and was pushed aside by the senior Ludvigsen. He spent the next minute or so watching his old man down the boot full fo beer without spilling a drop, I might add, as Lud ,the son,held his Dad's shrt neck out to catch any spillage---and then joined his Dad in an "arms around shoulders" rendition of the previously botched verse. The look on Mark's face was priceless----humility and comfort in being surrounded by friends and family---I guess it's really weird the types of things you remember." (transribed Sept 14,2001)

WM v VMI 1991 left to right Brian Nies,Mike Mischler,?,Jay Boyd (w/ball),Brian Hightower,Mark Ludvigsen,Bruce Weaver,part of Rob Brown

New York Times on Lud

More commentary from a classmate of Luds

I am a friend of Mark's from William and Mary who also has lived with him in New York since graduation. Mark was truly a larger than life guy with a heart f gold. The number of people that call him their friend is matched only by the stories we all share of him and the intense feelings we have for him. He will always be a part of our live and we are all better people for it.

"Hud" William and Mary Class 91

Email from Joe Somerville, largest flyhalf that ever played for WM---always made the guys around him play with flair--never forget the try he set up for me, absurdly past my prime, during a social match vs Old Dominion University--thanks again Joe.

"Hey Cary, I just wanted to give my regards. Although I met Hightower and Sampson first; Lud was my first true friend on the club when I showed up in "90, while attending law school. I will remember his goofy smile and willingness to do all the dirty work. He's the guy who got me to become a regular at Pi Lam functions (as if I needed much encouragement).

I am envisioning Lud stuck in a big air pocket of the WTC near the food court, of course, Plenty of beer and food lying all around him while he waits.

It works for me."

Take care,

Joe Somerville

email from Ed Wigley, legendary center on one of the highest performing WM Sides in history--State Champs 1979--long time rock in the Newport News RFC backline in the 80's, friend of many players at WM over 15 years

"Cary,I am sorry to hear of the loss of another fine American but particulary one of our own. I believe I played some with Lud but I am not sure. With him finishing up in '91, I was still playing so I would like to think that we shared some blood,guts,and beer. Please if you have one, put a photo of him on the website. I am sure all would appreciate it. God bless his memory and his family. Allow me to quote our able leader, President Bush:"We are peaceful people but fierce when stirred to anger." Let justice prevail."

Ed Wigley

email from Marty Edrich, Coach/Team Manager Newport New RFC, loyal Old Boy, massive contentious prop, and local legend around these woods.

"Newport News RFC sends their condolences to the family and teammates of Mark Ludvigsen. Some of the Newport News Old Boys crossed swords against him back in the early 90's,late 80's. Our prayers and thoughts are with you guys."

Marty Edrich.

Cary reflects:

"Its been 8 days since Mark's departure. As his college rugby coach back in the late 80's/early 90s. I was always struck by Lud's steadfast determination in the backline--he relished contact and had little interest in passing the ball. Even as a freshman Mark was a titan in the close contact stull---impossible to get off his feet. I would occassionally encourage him to try his hand in the pack but Lud would have nothing to do with that---he was a classic lock forward in denial--- masquerading in the backline! By his senior year, he did perform with the forwards but even then he was not entirey convinced that his lot was with the forwards.

After graduation in the 90's I would bump into Lud at tournaments, such as, the Cherry Blossom and Savannah St. Paddys. At those encounters, I was astounded by the maturity and physical element he brought to his game at lock forward---he had arrived! The transformation had taken place! The NYAC had done their work on him. We would laugh and talk about the rugby. Lud always maintained his interest in his old college club---I sought out his opinion in regard to all aspects of rugby business. Lud was a critical thinker who understood that most issues were loaded with nuance and blind curves; he was a fearless thinker and fearless rugby player. We shared many emails. Lud was off the curve in so many valuable ways---I will miss him--we will never forget----swift justice for our fallen warrior." Cheers to Lud,


Posted 25 Sept by John Day "Otis", WM Flyhalf,college teammate, and Pi Lam Brother.

As Whitney pointed out, nobody has yet commented on the ceremony this past weekend. I think we're all still reeling. However, I've been thinking about writing something, and Whit's message served as a prompt to action.

First let me say that it was a fitting tribute to an extradinary person. We weren't sure how many people might turn out, but guessed between 100 and 250. By the ceremony's conclusion, 450 people showed up to honor Mark's memory and pay their respects to his family. Mark's clients showed up; the jeweler who made the engagement ring for his wife made an appearansce. Guests came from San Francisco,London,Scotland, and South Africa. Fraternity Brothers from Pi Lambda Phi (College of William and Mary) from several classes spanning ten years paid homage. Attendance, however, was only part of the story.

The service was held at the tony New York Athletic Club, in an austere banquet room with plenty of food, wine and beer. And as befits Mark's memory, the Club provided everything gratis.

As for the speeches, they were no less remarkable. Mark's sister Clare and his father Karl spoke bravely and movingly about their beloved family member. Two fellow members of the NYAC Rugby Football Club described humorous moments and Lud's irresistible ability to attract friends from all walks of life.

Lud on the run spring 2001

The Pi Lams performed admirably under emotionally straining conditions. Steve Stanziale delivered a memorable address describing the big brother he admired for more than a decade. John Hodulik told of his feelings for a roommate and fraternity brother who became as close as a real brother. From some deep reserve of courage, Mark's wife found the strength to face the gathering and read an old Irish poem about loving someone through the ages. Finally, Jon Swaney, college rugby mate and frat bro, managed to rise to an exceptional level of simple eloquence, sharing his memories and his thoughts on the passing of his best friend.

The highlight, though, was the video tribute-a collection of still photos of Mark, set to some excellent and fitting music. The video was also courtesy of Jon Swaney, and it included many poingnat snapsots: Lud as a "wee lad" traipsing through the heather in Scotland wearing knee high Wellington boots; a toddler Mark helping an even yuounger Sister Clare over the rocks at the beach; a goofy teenager and youg college cool guy; a happy groom on the day of his wedding, attired in kilt and full traditional Scottish dress, surrounded by his groomsmen, kissing his new wife, dancing with his mother. Perhaps the toughest to see was the shot of a very young Lud and Clare on the observation deck of the World Trade Center in 1978. The video portion closed with a live bagpiper playing a forlorn and haunting "Amazing Grace." The crownd worked mightely to keep its collective emotions in check many of us failed in the effort.

I've known Lud for fourteen years, having met him in 1987 when he entered William and Mary a year after me. Of all the images I carry with me--some from the video, others collected along the way through common adventures with Mark--the one that comes to the fore , at least, for now, is the one I've attached at the end of this message. In the photo, Lud stands alone on his wedding day, framed against the darkness of the reception hall. He raises his arms in a triumphant manner, and I like to think Lud is having a rare selfish moment. Rare and selfish in the sense that , for once, this most generous friend was thinking of himself, sensing that he is the center of attention, enjoyin it, and letting the warmth of our affections, too seldom shown lift him up and carry him on what might have been the happiest day of his life.

Lud, we hardly knew ye, but you were well worth knowing. As I finish writing this message. I'm reminded of the closing lines of "Hamlet" when Horatio holds the dying Hamlet in his arms: "Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."


Posted Oct 13th 2001

Hi, it's Long Westerlund, WM Class '92,played at hooker for 1989-91. I wanted to ask that you put me on any list for events for Mark Ludvigsen. I just found out that he was in the 9/11 WTC tragedy and have just talked to Robby Brown. I do remember Mark really well and , well, I have really fond memories of those years, the team, and all our escapades,like some girls dorm in Lexington after the VMI match still fuzzy on details. Mark was always a solid guy, and funny as hell. I just remember his laugh. As for me, I am doing well. I live in Arlington, Va. and am both a lawyer and software engineer (weird how life turns out). Still single and kickin it round DC.

Long Westerlund

email posted Oct 25th 2001

I was very moved by the site. Almost to tears but the smile I had on my face reading about such a wonderful person made me think that Mark was someone I wish I'd known. What an increditble human being. I have some very good friends who are rugby players in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Az. and they always tried to get me to play. I joined in some of their after game festivities, and I have to agree, Rugby is the greatest fraternity of them all. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew Mark.

All the best,


Posted Oct 27th by Adrian Alleyne,Lud's college rugby mate---Adrian did not know of Lud's passing until the last week of Oct.

"I thought about a fitting tibute to Lud. I half seriously thought that Cary should change the official name of the rugby team to the Luddites in his honor. It's funny, but a luddite is one who is reluctant to change; caught in time so to speak. And truthfully, for me Lud is caught in time; I don't know Mark Ludvigsen. Or I suppose, more accurately, I haven't seen or spoken to Lud in the ten years since we graduated. I don't know the man he had become in those years. I think it's a story that happens too often with college friends, or teammates; they become a part or segment in your life forever fozen in time's amber at 22.

It's odd, but literally the day before I read the news about Lud, I had picked up the spring 2001 Alumni Magazine, had flipped to the back and was scanning the bold-print names for people I recognized. Maybe I'm the only one who does this-or admits to it-but a lot of times I would use the magazine as a competitive barometer for my own progress in life; what job ttle does so and so have? Seeing Lud as a Senior VP, though, all I could think was "alright, man. That's cool. You deserve it." It made me , for just an instant, remember what a solid person Lud was back when we were all just kids.

The funny thing is, I cannot remember any single particular conversation I had with Lud. He played the second row. In other words, he wasn't notorious for being an ugly front row masher(no offense Hans or anyone else who played prop), or for having the flashy runs of a breakaway or eight man He was the lock; the heart and leverage of the scrum. He was the fulcrum. We (I played hooker) leaned on him. So it makes sense that I don't remember a particular conversation; he was always in the middle of things-at the heart-not calling the spotlight to himself, but just being solid.

He was there at all the rugby parties-on all the road trips, but I can't remember him doing any of the things that would make him look back and cringe. Like taking a dump in the middle of some road-trip rugby house, using a brush handle in ungodly ways, appropriating a "caution wet floor" sign from a McDonalds, or plastering the sides of a van with dirty magazine photos "UNC or Bust."--those were the things that his teammates did. The most shocking thing I remember ws Lud hanging out with two girls in a hot tub near Clemson. I don't think anything happened; they were just hangin out. That was Lud.

On the field, he didn't come at rugby as the most athletic player out there. Others started out their careers with football or basketball scholarships, and so they came to the game with a high level of atheletic competition under their belts. Not Lud. He started out (where I played a lot) on the B-side. Over time though he worked hard to distingish himself. I remember him making the state select team, and thinking then;"alright man, That's cool. You deserve it."

See, this wasn't supposed to be the way I said goodbye to Lud. I should have accidentally run into him at some Manhattan diner. Given that I'm considerably heavier, and balder (by choice on both), I would have recognized him; the face of a twelve year old on a thirty-something year old man--smiling; arms in motion as he was trying to somehow physically explain the joke he just tld. I would have come up to his table, and It would have taken him a while for the glimmer of recognition. "Holy....! Adrian? Geez man, how have you been?" or something like that We would have spent he next half hour catching up on a ten year gap. "Married? Wow! Congrats, an....You still talk to,,,,? You still play rugby?" We'd exchange business cards; put down home numbers and emails; promise to keep in touch with each other and probably not. But that would have been ok. I would have spent the next ten years knowing that the goodness he gave out to the world had come back to him. I would have known he was safe. In a sense, I still do.

I had written a limerick about Lud, back when we played rugby together. I've long since retired it. Hopefully this can serve as a substitute.

I'll miss you Mark Ludvigsen
A rugger, a brother , a friend.
Your unending kindness
Stays here to remind us
'Til we scrum and ruck over again.

Picture of Lud all smiles

Article New York Post Sept 24th

Homecoming Oct 27th.Clare,Luds Sis, in the middle just where Lud would want to be for his 10th year reunion

Email posted by Lester Whitney to Cary Dec 11--three months after Lud left the room. Click here.
I played rugby with Mark, "Lud," for 3 years in college. A beautiful person: a true innocent, in the best sense of the word. Never an unkinfd word to say about anyone, always game, always enthusiastic, always a positive. The kind of person who reliably put you in a good mood, a person whose essential character was so thoroughly decent that it was a true North you measured yourself against. I'll still measure myself against it, and I'm horribly sad that now no one else who didn't already know him will have that good fortune.

Scott Moyers (New York, NY )

December 4, 2001

Email from Nate Collins, Rugby Captain 93-94, posted April 5th, 2002

I learned of Lud's death this winter and immediatley thought of my first practice at Yates Field. There were a lot of great ruggers at WM at that time, and, as a freshman, who had never played the game before, I was totally intimitaded. Lud took the time to give me a few pointers and gave some encouragement. Aside from getting completely dominated by the likes of Tim Sampson, Brian Hightower, and Jay Boyd. That interaction with Lud is my most vivid memory of my first contact with rugby.

Email posted Aug 14th 2002 by Ron Kramer, WM prop 94-95

Although I did not know Mark Ludvigsen, I can tell by viewing the website messages that Lud was greatly revered by his teammates, and thats a great thing in and of itself.

Since graduation in 95, I have been a federal law enforcement officer, so while I have been busy with 9/11 since that day (It does not go away for me), Lud's tragedy only brings it a bit closer and underscores the importance of bringing justice to this horrible tragedy while insuring that it never occurs again. My condolences to the friends and family of Mark.

Feb 3rd,2002

Lud was a good man, which is something that's said too often but, in this case, it's true. He was a positive force in the world.

Andrew Madigan (Dubai, UAE)

Posted Sept 13th,2004 by Clare Ludvigsen

The details of the 2004 Mark G. Ludvigsen Memorial Reception are as follows:

~ ~ Saturday, September 25th ~ ~

John Allan's
46 East 46th Street
(between Vanderbilt and Madison)

If you are planning on attending and have not e-mailed me, please do so no later than Thursday, September 16th as I need final numbers by the 17th.

For those of you who have indicated you are unable to attend but are interested in contributing to the Fund, you can send a check payable to the Mark Gavin Ludvigsen Memorial Scholarship Fund to the following address:

The College of William and Mary PO Box 1693 Williamsburg, VA 23187-1693.

I look forward to seeing all who can attend. Thank you again for all of your support!!

Posted Aug 17th, 2004

For the past two years in September, a golf tournament and reception has been held (Lud Open) in honor of Mark. Speaking on behalf of my parents, we have been honored and awestruck by the outpouring of support and interest in an annual gathering in Mark's memory and I would like to keep the tradition alive this year. The past two events in Williamsburg involved a golf outing and reception. Williamsburg is an excellent venue because of what The College of William & Mary meant to Mark, its central location for so many of his friends, and its relevance considering the creation of a scholarship fund in his name. However, I have had many express interest in alternating between Manhattan and Williamsburg from year to year, allowing more NYC-based friends to participate in a remembrance. As a result, a cocktail reception will be held this year in New York City. ~ ~ Saturday, September 25th ~ ~

Location: TBD 6-8pm $70/person

The location will be announced shortly. The reception will serve as a prelude to an extended night on the town - in true Luddy fashion. As in years past, proceeds from the event will go to the Mark Gavin Ludvigsen Memorial Scholarship Fund at the College of William and Mary. I apologize for the late notification, the change of venue, and a reduced slate of activities from the previous years. Your encouraging input has reaffirmed that an annual tribute to Mark will always be a worthy event for those who want to keep the loving spirit of Lud alive forever. As always, I appreciate your feedback. If you are able to make it, please contact me at clarelud@mail.com as soon as you can, and I'll be in touch shortly with more detailed information. Thank you so much for your continued support over the years. It really does mean so much.


Posted Sept 4th,2011

Its been nearly 10 years,we remember always. If you would like to share your message,please post to Cary and I will be happy to include your email at this webpage. Cary@RichmondRugby.net

This picture was posted by Lud'd teammate Don Noone,Nov 2011. Shows Lud's full name in metal at ground zero memorial downtown manhattan.
From: Lex Maccubbin To: Cary Kennedy Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 10:30 AM Subject: May be of interest

Cary, Saw this today and thought you might be interested. Mark was inducted posthumously into the NYAC Hall of Fame.

Mark Ludvigsen. A product of The College of William and Mary, Ludvigsen was a longtime starter for the club and its president. He was the driving force behind making NYAC rugby strong enough as an organization, from an administrative and playing standpoint, to join the Super League. He played lock for NYAC and was a MetNY RFU all-star. He also died during the 9-11 attacks. His induction was introduced by his sister Claire.


Posted, Sep 11, 2013 , Kyle Lyons-Burke wrote:

The whole page is beautiful, and well worth the read. That is what rugby is about, and it's something to remember today.

Boston Kyle,Captain William and Mary Rugby Football Club
Unashamedly teary eyed after reading that

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