The University of Chicago News Office
Sept. 7, 2005

A Message from President Randel

To the University of Chicago community:

All of us have been deeply saddened by the pain and suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina, and our hearts go out to all the families and communities that have been devastated by one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history.

Like so many people and organizations across the country, we are seeking ways, as a community, to aid and comfort those whose lives have been affected. Most immediately, we have been contacting our students whose homes are in the affected Gulf Coast region. Although we have not made direct contact with everyone, we have reason to believe that everyone has been accounted for. We will give them every possible support as they return to campus.

We are also very concerned about the hundreds of Chicago alumni who live in the communities affected by the hurricane. We are in the process of setting up an online bulletin board to facilitate communications with and among our alumni.

The University is also one of a large number of institutions across the nation working to assist students displaced from schools affected by the hurricane. The University's undergraduate college will admit up to 50 qualified students from the affected areas as temporary students until their campus is reopened. Several of our graduate and professional schools are also planning to enable displaced students to study here this fall. If you are contacted by a student or a parent, regarding the possibility of late admission because of the hurricane, please suggest that they contact the Office of College Admissions or the admissions office at the appropriate graduate or professional school.

In the face of such incomprehensible destruction of lives, homes, and livelihood, many members of the University community are already actively engaged in relief efforts -- from organizing fundraising drives for relief agencies to collecting clothes for infants to providing medical care to displaced residents. In the coming weeks, the University Community Service Center will continually update our students, faculty and staff on a variety of other efforts to assist victims of Katrina.

The University is also encouraging staff, faculty and students to make financial contributions to assist the relief efforts. Both the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Hospitals will match contributions to the Red Cross or United Way. (For more information, please visit our matching gift program page.)

Details on these and all other University responses related to Hurricane Katrina can be found online at This page will be updated continuously.

I greatly appreciate the support and the generosity of all members of our community at this time. Given the unprecedented scope of this tragedy, I know there will be an ongoing need for support and I sincerely appreciate your continuing compassion.

Don Michael Randel
President, University of Chicago
Last modified at 01:03 PM CST on Tuesday, September 27, 2005.

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