Family memorializes son with generosity
By Christopher Johnson
Daily Staff Reporter

January 10, 2003 - Although almost a year and a half have passed since the Sept. 11 attacks, individuals continue to cherish the memories of the loved ones who perished.
One act of memorial is the recent donation of $250,000 to the Medical School in honor of Todd Ouida, an alum who was killed in the attacks.

Todd Ouida was on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center, where he worked as a broker for Cantor-Fitzgerald. Although Todd called his mother on his cell phone to tell her that he was unharmed, he did not come out of the building. Todd's father, who worked on the 77th floor, managed to escape.

"Somebody told me that Todd was above me. I still say that Todd's above me," said Herbert Ouida, Todd's father.

Herbert said he and Todd's mother Andrea offered the money to the University because their son was particularly fond of his days as a student at Michigan. Todd graduated from the University in 1998 with a bachelor of arts in psychology. Herbert noted that a speaker at his son's memorial service said everyone on campus referred to Todd as "Buddy." The remark inspired the name for his memorial website,

"Todd came into his own at Michigan," said Herbert. "He loved the school. It was a significant part of his life."

Todd's parents offered the money to the Medical school specifically for the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders. The school will use the funds to establish the Todd Ouida Clinical Scholars Award and an annual lecture in childhood anxiety and depression.

"The Todd Ouida Clinical Scholars Award will support new research on the genetic, biological and psychological factors contributing to childhood anxiety disorders," said school associate Prof. Gregory Hanna, director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, in a statement. "The annual lecture will allow us to focus national attention on these important problems and to provide information to clinicians and researchers about the latest advances in the field."

Herbert said he contributed the money to the Medical school because his son suffered from panic attacks in his youth. After medication failed to alleviate Todd's anxiety disorder, the young Ouida entered psychotherapy and significantly improved his condition.

"Many people get stuck in this problem," Herbert said. "He didn't. He thrived. He traveled all over the world."

Todd's parents established the Todd Ouida Children's Foundation Fund after his death to provide financial assistance to programs that treat children who suffer from anxiety disorders. The memorial website lists many beneficiaries of the fund and how others can make additional donations.