September 2, 2005
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
The devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina have stunned us all. The
loss of life, destruction of property, and unimaginably severe
conditions that remain in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama
are profoundly saddening. Our thoughts, prayers, and sympathies are
with all those who have suffered from the storm and its aftermath. How
can we as a university help? Let me outline several ways.
First, we are contacting our undergraduate and graduate students who
live in the region to offer any assistance we can in helping them
arrive safely for the fall term. We also stand ready to lend support
to any member of the Faculty or staff who has family members displaced
by the storm. Any faculty or staff in need of such support should
contact my office at 617-495-1566.
Second, Harvard College will admit 25 additional students from colleges
and universities that will not reopen this term due to the storm into
our Visiting Undergraduate Student Program for the Fall Semester.
Applications will be processed on an expedited basis. No tuition will
be charged. On-campus housing will be provided on a space-available
basis and priority will be given to students rendered homeless by the
storm. Students interested in being considered for the Visiting
Undergraduate Program should contact Marlene Vergara Rotner in the
Office of Admissions at 617-495-9707 or email@example.com.
Third, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will admit into the
Special Student Program for the Fall Semester, 25 additional students
from colleges and universities that will not reopen this term due to
the storm. As in the case of Visiting Undergraduates, applications
will be processed rapidly, and no tuition will be charged. Students
interested in being considered by the Special Student Program should
contact Sue Wood at 617-495-5392 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fourth, the Harvard Extension School, which has led Harvard’s outreach
efforts for more than a century, will allow enrollment in up to four of
its fall courses to those students living within commuting distance who
would normally be attending college in the flooded areas. For those
students who are not within commuting distance of the campus, HES will
make available enrollment in any of its 36 fall online courses. In
either case, HES will waive the tuition for these students and require
only the $50 registration fee. Scholarships for online courses are
limited. Further, high school students from the flooded region who can
come to the Boston area and live with relatives may enroll in Extension
School courses that meet AP requirements, such as Introduction to
Calculus, introductory science course, and introductory language
courses. Students interested in these opportunities should contact
Christine Santos at 617-495-5850 or email@example.com.
President Summers is posting on the University website a letter in
which he will outline efforts across Harvard, including the
establishment of a fund to assist victims of the hurricane. Let me
suggest a further way you can help. If you are in a position to house
a visiting student for the fall semester, you would do that student,
and this Faculty, a great service. If you can assist in this way,
please contact Anna-Lisa Plant in the Harvard College Dean’s Office at
617-496-0265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, please help to spread the word about these opportunities to
colleagues and friends in the affected colleges and universities.
Given that our classes do not begin until Monday, September 19, there
is still time. But we must move quickly. Now is the moment to show
solidarity with our sister institutions who are in such need.
With all best wishes,
William C. Kirby
Edith and Benjamin Geisinger Professor of History and Dean of the
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
A copy of this letter is available at the FAS website:
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