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OLD DOMINION COMMUNITY TO GATHER JAN. 18 FOR TSUNAMI MEMORIAL

In response to the tsunami disaster in southeast and southern Asia, the university will conduct a memorial service to remember the victims Tuesday, Jan. 18, and sponsor a fund-raising event to help the survivors.

The service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Mills Godwin Jr. Building auditorium. Participants include international student representatives from affected countries and religious leaders from the Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jewish religious communities, along with President Roseann Runte.

The service will be available via streaming video on the World Wide Web at the following URL: http://www.lions.odu.edu/dept/ao/ss/other/tsunami_memorial/

Please bring a canned food and/or checks for donation to the tsunami relief effort to this memorial service or to the Campus Information Center. Checks should be made to: The United Way. Those at the service are encouraged to write their thoughts in the memory book that will be sent along with donations.

The university is also encouraging student, faculty and staff organizations to raise money for the victims of the tsunami tragedy, culminating with the scheduled student "Late Nighter" event from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, in Webb Center, when the amounts will be announced.

Funds raised by the campus community will go to the International Red Cross. The United Way of South Hampton Roads has agreed to facilitate the process. For more information about the Feb. 19 event call the Office of Student Services at 683-3442.

In a letter to the campus community Jan. 10, President Runte and Chris Drake, professor of geography, asked faculty to take a moment in their first classes "to discuss the meaning and impact of this disaster. A number of our students have lost families, friends and neighbors. Others have lost their homes. Let us offer them our expressions of respect and regret."

"It is hard for us to conceive the enormity of the disaster, to even imagine what it must be like to lose everything we have ever owned or cared about - family members and friends, houses, sources of livelihood, photos and possessions we have worked hard to obtain. Yet, we all have experienced personal loss," Runte and Drake said in their letter.

"We have all been touched by the photos of people carried away by the waves and of our fellow human beings searching for the ones they love. It is at such times that we share rage at our helplessness. We cannot avoid such tragedies. All human life is fragile and all of our constructions on this earth can be so rapidly and efficiently erased by the forces of nature.

"From such tragic events, however, spring great gestures of human nobility. People across the globe reach out to help each other. At Old Dominion University, let us be part of a new wave of kindness to sweep our world."

This article was posted on: January 11, 2005

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