|• September 1, 2005|
To our Alumni, Families, and Friends along the Gulf Coast,
All of us at Wabash College wish to extend our deep sympathy for the tragedy you have suffered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Please know that you will remain in our thoughts and prayers during the difficult days to come.
We know that there are upwards of 75 Wabash alumni families who have been affected by the hurricane and more than a dozen current students hail from the region. We are relieved to know that our students’ families are alive, but we share their concerns about how their lives will never be the same.
Wabash College is a place of action. Within hours of learning of the devastation caused by Katrina, Wabash men were ready to mobilize. In fact, students began raising relief funds before Katrina reached shore; others came to College officials asking to leave campus to help with recovery and relief efforts. Alumni called and emailed wondering how they could be of help.
We believe that the best ways for Wabash to help those most affected by this disaster is to serve as a communications hub and facilitator for action. The Wabash network of alumni, parents, and friends stretches from coast to coast and around the world. There are Wabash people serving in every possible line of work. While at present we do not know specifically how to help because the extent of the catastrophe is yet unknown, we do know that Wabash men and their families will reach out in what ever ways they can.
If you are an alumnus experiencing this tragedy, let us know. Contact your Class Agent and let him know that you are safe. Also let him know how the College and its network of alumni can be of help or service to you in your time of need. Your Class Agent will then inform our Alumni Office and we’ll spread the word quickly; your classmates will want to know what they can do.
If you are the parent of a student, please communicate with your son as you are able. You might also wish to contact our Dean of Students Office so that we can make any arrangements necessary to care for your son. Through that office, we have the potential to reach across the student body to give support to your sons and determine ways in which we can serve you.
President Bush has called this "one of the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history," and still we do not know the long-term, sustained significance of Katrina and its aftermath. As a liberal arts college whose mission it is to teach men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely, we do know that we are well positioned to lend help and service to those in need.
Please use the Wabash network. All of us today wonder how we can best help; only you can let us know the ways in which we can assist you. Please feel free to contact my office, too, if you think I can be of assistance.
Andrew T. Ford, President