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Dear Members of the Old Dominion University Community,

Not long ago, we came together in sadness and in the spirit of international friendship to help the victims of the tsunami in Asia. Today we must reunite to aid fellow Americans who have lost lives and livelihood, homes and land in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

As we carry on with classes and work, it is hard to imagine the suffering and distress of our fellow citizens not so many miles from here. Yet when we listen to or read the news, the disaster is all too real. If the imposing wall of water that poured through the levees and the violent strength of the elements appear overwhelming, the lawless acts of some are painful reminders of the frailty of society. Despite the fact that we can walk on the moon, despite the fact that our military and relief personnel perform heroic acts daily, despite all the best laid plans of mice and women, we share frustration, pain, sorrow and embarrassment on this occasion.

A number of the members of our Old Dominion University community have told me that their families, their close relatives have no homes, nothing. If this is the case and you have not yet told me, could you please call or send me or Glenda Humphreys a note? We are planning to do something specifically for the relatives of Old Dominion University faculty, staff, students and alumni.

While we collect this information and coordinate efforts, the Old Dominion University Credit Union has graciously agreed to assist in this effort. You may direct your donations to them. Donations can be made by cash, check, Visa credit card, money orders, travelers checks. Donations can be made in person at the Credit Union, through interagency mail, through regular mail, or in the case of Visa, over the telephone.

We will do our best to accommodate students from the affected areas so they will not lose the semester. We already have received an application from one student. We ask faculty and students to assist them with any missed classes. We will also reach out to faculty from the universities which are now closed to see if they wish to join our research teams or to share our facilities.

The student government is planning several fund raising activities and some students and faculty will go to the affected areas during the spring break to volunteer their physical labor.

I will keep you informed of these activities and plans as they develop so everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Thank you for the outpouring of care and concern which has filled my email. I am extremely proud of Old Dominion faculty, staff, students and alumni. You are not only concerned about your fellow citizens but you stand prepared to assist them. I praise your remarkable civic engagement and your generosity. Thank you for your positive and active response to the devastation of this storm.

Sincerely yours,
Roseann Runte

This article was posted on: September 1, 2005

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.