March 18, 2011
Like me, I know you have been closely following events as Japan struggles in the aftermath of the massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. Disasters such as these remind us of how fragile and volatile our world is and how quickly everything we know and love can be forever altered. I am sure many of us see reflections of our own experiences with Katrina in the tragedy now unfolding, especially the initial hopelessness felt by so many.
When the earthquake struck, our first concern was for Tulane faculty and students traveling in Japan, as well as Japanese students and faculty here in New Orleans. Nine of our MBA students were in Japan, where they had stopped en route to Beijing to fulfill requirements of the business school's global leadership program. Professor Ken Muneoka, who holds the John L. and Mary Wright Ebaugh Chair in Science and Engineering, was on a train headed to Sendai. We are grateful that Ken and all our students are accounted for and safe.
Our Office of Student Affairs is reaching out to members of Tulane’s Japanese community who may have family or friends back home directly impacted by these terrible events. Our Japanese students are currently working with Tulane’s Department of Asian Studies to organize a fundraiser for victims.
The law school's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy is partnering with both the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University and the Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institute in Kobe to launch the Disaster Resilience Watch Project, which will assess and assist Japan’s long-term recovery. The Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research is a major player in this effort and is launching a multitude of other research, educational and transformational partnerships with our Japanese colleagues to confront this ongoing disaster.
These efforts, along with the personal contributions so many of you are making to relief agencies such as the NOLA Japan Quake Fund, are in keeping with the motto Non sibi, sed suis: “Not for one’s self, but for one’s own” -- a proud Japanese and Tulane tradition. We will continue to explore ways we can help our friends in Japan and welcome any suggestions you may have.
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