Georgia Tech Aids Katrina Relief Effort

The campus community pulls together to help those in need

The aftermath of hurricane Katrina has caused hardships for thousands of residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Americans are banding together to help their fellow citizens in many different ways. Whether they are donating money or time, collecting supplies or providing shelter, everyone is trying to do their part.

Universities across the country are playing a unique role in the relief effort by providing shelter, resources and comfort to those who were affected by Katrina's devastation. The Georgia Tech community has offered its services and talents to help evacuees through a difficult time.

President Wayne Clough says he's proud of the University and the Atlanta community for their efforts to help out.

"The Georgia Tech community has made a great effort to respond quickly and diligently to the needs of the evacuees from Katrina," said Clough. "Our Students, faculty and staff demonstrated a deep sense of humanity in their caring approach to helping those who have been impacted by the hurricane. I've never been more proud of Georgia Tech."

The Institute has opened its doors to evacuees from the Gulf Coast. Among the first evacuees to Tech were 275 students from Tulane University that arrived on campus needing food and shelter. Some Tulane students remain in the area, while others have moved on to family or friends for their accommodations.

Georgia Tech has enrolled 65 students from Tulane and the University of New Orleans. There are more students that maybe processed in the coming days and weeks. The College of Architecture has accepted seven Tulane students into its program at Georgia Tech. Not all of them are registered yet, but they are attending classes. Mechanical Engineering has accepted five graduate students as transient students for the fall semester. Biomedical Engineering has accepted two undergraduates and one graduate student from Tulane.

Justin Harper, a computer science student, created a Web Site ( to help evacuees locate family members and friends. There are over 14,000 survivors registered.

Several fund-raising campaigns are underway to help with the relief effort. The Office of Community Service is encouraging students to donate $5 and faculty, staff and alumni to donate $10 to the relief efforts. Their goal is to raise $50,000 across the campus community.

As part of the effort, several student organizations have signed up to collect monetary donations on the Skiles Walkway from September 6 - September 20. In addition, money was collected at the University of North Carolina home game. Students will continue raising funds at the University of Connecticut game on Saturday, September 17. Students are also collecting clothes and other supplies to send to those in need.

The Georgia Tech community has played a large part in helping the Red Cross at the Georgia Tech Coliseum. Several volunteers from campus coordinated activities for the children at the shelter, while trained caseworkers and volunteered their time to help evacuees obtain needed resources. Members of the Campus Christian Fellowship helped provide meals to the evacuees at the shelter.

Clough says he knows Georgia Tech will be ready to help throughout the rebuilding process.

"There will be more challenges for the Georgia Tech community to meet in the coming weeks, months and years. I know our institution is up to the task, and we'll be ready to lend a helping hand when we are needed."

Plans are already underway to make trips later this school year to help rebuild the region devastated by Katrina.

The College of Architecture has initiated discussions to offer Tulane architecture faculty members visiting scholar status for the semester and possible part-time employment.

Materials Science and Engineering is assisting several University of New Orleans professors in getting NSF funding needed to continue their research at Tech. NSF is preparing guidelines so that displaced professors can work. These professors have previously worked with Professor Z.L. Wang, who is exploring the possibility of having them work out of the Tech campus.