January 14, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

This has been a sad week as we have followed the tragic story of the earthquake in Haiti.  As New Orleanians, we can identify with what it is to be victims of a calamity.  We have seen human suffering up close, and I know our hearts and prayers are with those affected by this horrific event.

Tulane has three of its people in Haiti, some of whom are with their families or significant others.  We have now confirmed that all are well and safe, and we are providing direct assistance, where possible and needed, to bring them back to the United States. We are also reaching out to our students from Haiti to offer our support, as well as assistance in contacting their families.

As more details surface about this terrible disaster, I know you join me in saluting the efforts of the heroic first responders.  We well know from our experiences in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina how critical their efforts are.  We also know how important the second wave of support will be to this embattled country and that is where the assistance of the Tulane community, whose expertise and experiences were honed after the storm, will be most critical. 

Senior university administrators are currently in discussion to determine how Tulane can most effectively use its talent and experience to provide long-term assistance.  Our experts in disaster recovery management, mental health, health systems management and environmental health, as well as our health professionals, are already formulating plans and working with aid organizations to see how we can assist Haiti as it begins the very long and difficult road to recovery.

Finally, we provide the following sites for those of you wanting to directly support Haitian relief efforts now:

  • The U.S. Department of State, through which you can text a donation or access relief organizations.
  • InterAction, a list of agencies responding to the crisis and accepting donations.

The Tulane community is known for its community engagement ethos and disaster experience; let’s do whatever we can to assist those in Haiti, a country closely aligned with New Orleans.


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638