Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Northwestern Response to Hurricane Katrina

Earlier this evening, I received this letter from the president of Northwestern University:
To members of the Northwestern community:

I’m sure that all of you have been deeply affected, as I have, by the tragedy that has occurred inNew Orleans and the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Our hearts go out tothose whose lives have been devastated by this terrible storm and the flooding that occurred in its wake.

Through the Association of American Universities, we have been in contact with the president ofTulane University, located in New Orleans. Like Northwestern, Tulane is a member of the AAU, aconsortium of the country’s leading universities. I am sorry to report that Tulane late last weekannounced that it would not be able to reopen its campus this fall. While Tulane’s campus was notflooded, the extensive damage to the City of New Orleans infrastructure will prevent Tulane fromreopening for some time.

Therefore, Northwestern will assist students from Tulane and other colleges and universities inthat area to the greatest extent possible. We will offer students enrolled at institutions inhurricane-stricken areas the opportunity to take classes at Northwestern this fall as visiting students.

Northwestern will waive tuition for those students, allowing tuition revenues to continue to go tothose students’ home institutions. If students have already paid their fall semester tuition totheir home institution, Northwestern will provide available space in classes at no additional cost. If the visiting students have not yet paid tuition at their home institution, Northwestern willcharge the home institution’s tuition and transfer those funds to it.

I also urge you to join me in making a contribution to the American Red Cross or the organizationof your choice for hurricane disaster relief. The Red Cross phone number is 1-800-HELP-NOW. TheMcCormick Tribune Foundation and many faith-based organizations also have established disaster relief funds. The phone number for the McCormick Tribune Foundation is 1-800-508-2848.

The effects of this disaster touch us all. I know that many members of the Northwestern communityhave families in the area hit by the hurricane. Our thoughts are with them as they begin the long,difficult efforts to recover their lives. We can help by offering an outstanding education to those students who now find themselves without an educational home. Therefore, I ask that all of you here at Northwestern be flexible, creative and compassionate in assisting those students as much as wepossibly can.

Following are details on how students should contact Northwestern to begin the process of attending as a visiting student. This information also is posted on the web sites of the School of Continuing Studies, the Graduate School and elsewhere, and will be updated as necessary.

Thank you for your assistance on this important effort.

Henry S. Bienen

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