Thursday September 8, 2005

Campus Steps Up Hurricane Relief Efforts

University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran is asking faculty, staff and students to "step up" and reach out to Hurricane Katrina victims. UD is offering free tuition to Gulf Coast students and paid release time to faculty and staff who volunteer to serve in an organized relief effort.

University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran is asking faculty, staff and students to "step up" and reach out to Hurricane Katrina victims. Employees who volunteer for organized hurricane relief efforts may be granted up to three weeks of paid leave, depending upon a supervisor's approval, Curran announced today.

For academically qualified students whose institutions have closed as a result of the hurricane and who are residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the University of Dayton will offer free tuition for the fall term. Other students with permanent residency outside the Gulf states will be admitted on a case-by-case basis, through Sept. 16.

"The phone was ringing off the hook last week," said Rob Durkle, director of admission. "Faculty, staff and people from all over Dayton have called and offered rooms for students and their families. The outpouring of support from the Dayton community has been heartwarming."

To date, the University of Dayton has enrolled six displaced college students. Two first-year students from Loyola University and one from Tulane University moved into campus housing and started classes Tuesday, Sept. 6. Another undergraduate attended UD in 2003, but transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi when her family moved to that state. She re-enrolled at UD this week after her family was displaced by the hurricane.

In addition, a graduate student from Loyola University started education classes, and a first-year law student from Loyola is expected to enroll this week.

"Our prayers go out to all who have been touched by this immense national tragedy," Curran said. "As a Catholic, Marianist university, we always have been a welcoming community. Today, we are called to do more. We need to reach out and help those who are struggling to rebuild their lives."

Efforts include:

* University of Dayton students are collecting donations in Kennedy Union from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sept. 16. Students are using their prepaid Flyer cards to donate the cost of a meal or make a cash donation to hurricane relief. Donations will be distributed to nonprofit organizations, such as the American Red Cross. Collections were taken at all Masses on campus last weekend to assist fund-raising efforts by Catholic Charities USA. In addition, the rector's office is collecting gift cards to donate to the families of UD employees who are relocating from the hurricane-stricken area. To contribute, call the Rev. Paul Marshall, S.M., at (937) 229-4122.

* "Dayton Flyers Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort" will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, in the University of Dayton Arena's east wing. The Community Blood Center will conduct a blood drive at the Arena, and employees of National City will be accepting monetary donations for the American Red Cross. Call (937) 229-4433.

* Monday, Sept. 12, "Day of Prayer" will mark the two-week anniversary of the hurricane. The 12:05 p.m. Mass in the Immaculate Conception Chapel will be offered for the victims and relief and recovery efforts. A prayer vigil, including exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, will take place in the chapel from the end of Mass until 4:30 p.m. Students, faculty and staff have been invited to sign up for 15- or 30-minute prayer periods during that time. The prayer vigil will conclude with a special prayer service/litany at 4:30 p.m.

* A benefit concert at Gilly's for victims of Katrina is being organized by UD donor relations coordinator Helen Moss and adjunct music professor Khalid Moss, who is inviting area musicians to participate and donate their talents. The concert takes place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12. For ticket information, call Gilly's at (937) 228-8414.

* Michelle Phillips Moody, a 1992 alumna who owns a sporting goods store near Houston, where Katrina victims are being relocated, is encouraging UD student organizations and alumni to assist her in collecting needed supplies. "Refugees are living in people's garages and fire stations," she said. "Basically everything we take for granted is what these people need." Non-perishable foods, toiletries, pillows, blankets, water, diapers, underwear, shoes, glasses, clothing (suitable for 90-degree temperatures), socks, bug spray with DEET, toothpaste, toothbrushes, school supplies and telephone calling cards are needed. Donations may be sent to: Instant Replay SPORTS, c/o Michelle Moody, 19540 Clay Rd., Suite D, Katy, Texas 77449. Call (281) 463-2772.

The University of Dayton has established a Hurricane Katrina Web site that updates faculty, staff and students about ways to help. See

Contact Teri Rizvi or Kristen Wicker at (937) 229-3241.