Tyler Troast ’08, David Horowitz ’83, P’16, Douglas Troast ’85 and Brian Troast ’06

With his newly minted Bucknell engineering degree, Brian Troast ’06 arrived at his first job to face a 70-foot-deep gaping hole. He was staring at Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center once stood. Troast has been working on Tower One, nicknamed Freedom Tower, ever since. He started as a builder, gradually taking on project management and now architectural finishing. When he heads to work in the morning he thinks about the void there when he first started and the horrific events that caused it. Motivating him throughout have been the people who lost their lives on 9/11 and the meaning of placing an iconic building back into the New York skyline to honor them.

It took three years for Troast and the rest of the Freedom Tower team to build to street level and another three years to add the new tower’s remaining 104 stories. When completed, Tower One will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third-tallest building in the world. He says the experience has been a little like beginning at Bucknell. “As a freshman you start from nothing with a clean slate before you. Four years later you’ve built something amazing.”

Engineering, construction and Bucknell run in the Troast family. Brian, his brother Tyler Troast ’08 and his uncle Doug Troast ’85, along with fellow Bucknellian David Horowitz ’83, P’16, have all worked from foundation to completion stages on one or more of the towers that make up the new World Trade Center complex. Brian says they’ve used their Bucknell education every step of the way. “One of the biggest things Bucknell teaches you is to think on your feet, to keep learning and how to learn. You can’t ever be satisfied thinking you know enough.”

That’s also what excites the Troasts and Horowitz about where Bucknell itself is headed. Since it began in 1846, the University has been building something new every day— creating opportunity, bringing new knowledge into the world and strengthening a campus that keeps setting a higher standard for education.

That’s what makes Brian Troast most proud to be an alumnus. “Bucknell is never satisfied either,” he says. “It’s always pushing to new levels.”