The Magazine of Marquette University | Fall 2005

 

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Cura Personalis

Giving hurricane relief

"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had."

— Acts 4:32

They left their personal possessions in res hall rooms and apartments, thinking they would be gone for days, not months. Some arrived at Marquette with parents, others made their way to Milwaukee alone. The offers of help were extensive — from school supplies and linens to trips to Target to purchase other necessities. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Marquette community demonstrated the Catholic, Jesuit mission of serving others in need by accepting nearly 100 students from universities affected by the storm and reaching out to employees with immediate families whose homes were destroyed.

“The outpouring of concern among our faculty and staff has been overwhelming,” Marquette President Robert Wild, S.J., says. University offices remained open Labor Day weekend to admit students from Loyola University New Orleans, Tulane University, Xavier University New Orleans and the University of New Orleans and assign them housing. Sixty-nine students enrolled. There were special orientation sessions, welcome events and counseling support for the  displaced students. Welcome signs in the residence halls and home-baked cookies   in their rooms brought smiles. A quickly organized dinner gave the students a chance to connect with each other.

The Marquette University Hurricane Relief Fund was established to help the students purchase books, clothing and other items essential to their studies and their sudden arrival at Marquette. Donated funds will also be used to support the immediate families of Marquette employees who lived in and had to evacuate the areas hit by the hurricane.

Student and staff groups organized fund-raising events for hurricane victims — everything from bake sales to contributions at soccer and volleyball games. Hundreds attended a prayer service for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Individuals and campus groups made donations to the American Red Cross and Catholic Charities U.S.A. for hurricane relief efforts.

The transitions for the visiting students continue. They are in classes, joining campus activities, expressing their gratitude for everyone’s concern and assistance. And they’re looking forward … wondering how cold Milwaukee really gets and when they’ll be able to return to their own schools.

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