President Berkey's Message to the Community Concerning the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Dear WPI Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni:

The extent of Hurricane Katrina's destruction in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana – especially Greater New Orleans – presents sobering and heartbreaking news to us all. It will likely become the worst natural disaster to hit the United States.

While the WPI campus is out of harm's way, we currently have 12 students with geographic ties to the states impacted by the storm, and faculty and staff who have friends and loved ones in that region. We are addressing the needs of the students through campus resources, including the Office of Student Development and Counseling and the Academic Resource Center. In addition, the Office of Admissions is handling inquiries from students who are currently enrolled or who were to be enrolled at Tulane, one of the universities that was hardest hit by the hurricane. We anticipate that we may receive additional inquiries, as more than 75,000 college students in the New Orleans area have had their classes or start of classes indefinitely postponed. WPI is committed to helping these students as much as possible, much as our peer institutions are doing.

More than 100 WPI alumni live around the affected areas. We pray that they are safe and invite members of our extended alumni family to use the message board posted on the WPI Web to inquire about friends and classmates who may be in the affected areas.

I urge the community to unite in thoughts and prayers for those who have lost so much.

September 1, 2005