President Scott S. Cowen
September 28, 2001
The recent weeks have been difficult ones for all of us as Americans, but I thought you might be heartened by the response of the Tulane University community to the national crisis set off by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
Given the broad demographics of the university community it is not surprising that some of our own members have been directly affected by this tragedy. This past week, I have heard from several members of the Tulane community who lost family members or loved ones in the attacks--some were working inside the World Trade Center, while others were among the firefighters and police officers who lost their lives in the rescue efforts. There are no doubt many among our alumni, parents and friends who have been personally touched by this tragedy as well. Our condolences and continued prayers are with all of them.
But there have been bright spots amid the grief. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response of the Tulane family to this national crisis. Hundreds of us, representing all faiths, gathered to pray for and remember our fellow citizens at several memorial services both on the uptown campus and at the Health Sciences Center. Faculty members led a forum and student discussions in the hope of arriving at some understanding of this senseless attack--we called the forum, appropriately, "Making Sense of the Senseless." Counselors visited residence halls and spoke with students about their feelings. A crisis counseling line was also established for students, faculty and staff. We worked in concert with the New Orleans Police Department and the FBI to ensure the safety of all of our students, especially those of international origin.
I have been particularly pleased with the extraordinary caring and sharing of our students, who took the lead on many of the relief efforts. They spearheaded a successful blood drive, for example, and established a Tulane Relief Fund to collect monetary donations for disaster relief.
You can get an overview of the Tulane community's response by visiting our Web site.
Like any good family, we are sticking together while reaching out to others in need. Know that while the wounds of Sept. 11 heal, we at Tulane are continuing to encourage understanding not only among our students and our community, but our nation and our world. I deeply believe that academic institutions such as Tulane will ultimately prove our country's greatest means of achieving hope, understanding and a peaceful future.
Scott S. Cowen
Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638 firstname.lastname@example.org