A Message from the President
Posted September 7, 2005 | Atlanta, GA
I would like to take this opportunity to relate updates and some thoughts on our involvement with the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Beginning with our efforts to assist 275 Tulane students who were stranded in Jackson, Mississippi, and continuing with our opening of the Coliseum as a temporary shelter that addressed the needs of nearly 300 of the hardest hit evacuees, the Georgia Tech community has responded with heart and help in a way few others have.
Perhaps Tim English, chapter executive officer for the Metro Atlanta region of the Red Cross said it best, "Georgia Tech's response has been incredible. The Georgia Tech faculty, students, and staff were right there helping provide services, and Georgia Tech has bent over backwards to help in any way they could. We are most grateful for their support."
As president of this university, I have never been more proud of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have volunteered time, money and creative talents to assist those in need.
Although much has been done, our work is far from complete. Our admissions officers have worked with not only Tulane students, but with those from other impacted universities, to allow them to continue their programs of study. At this point, we have enrolled approximately 55 students with others being processed. I know we will all want to welcome them to campus and treat them as part of our Georgia Tech community.
We are continuing to consider ways we might partner with faculty and graduate students from the University of New Orleans and Tulane to assist in their research and educational efforts. We are also beginning to explore how our faculty and students might help in the major effort needed to plan and rebuild the damaged area.
During the coming months and years, there will be many opportunities for the talents of our unique community to help our fellow citizens in the impacted areas recover from this stunning disaster.
For all of our good efforts, some of you may have heard in the media today that our shelter in the Coliseum was closed to the Red Cross because of scheduling conflicts. This is not true and many media outlets have issued corrections or called to get accurate information.
Everyone involved with events scheduled for the Coliseum prepared alternative venues and plans for the scheduled events. We were prepared to continue our association with the Red Cross if the Coliseum and the role it could play was needed. Fortunately, the Red Cross was able to find individualized housing for the remaining evacuees that were sheltered in the Coliseum. Contrary to the reports, the Coliseum remains open until Friday as a shelter to provide services to those who are relocating.
The recovery effort will continue for months to come, and Georgia Tech will stay involved. Our student body, the Facilities Office, Student Affairs, Auxiliary Services, Campus Police, Sodexho, the Athletic Association, and many others have worked around the clock to organize and support relief efforts. All are to be commended for their tireless efforts on the behalf of others.
I want to thank everyone on this campus for all that you have done during the past week. As always, our university is a reflection of the people who live and work here, and we have much to be proud of.
G. Wayne Clough
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.