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Loyola helps Haitian students with tuition, meal plans

April 30, 2010

Several Loyola University New Orleans undergraduate students from Haiti, who have been financially impacted by the January 2010 earthquake there, will receive funding from the university to pay tuition and other expenses until they graduate.

Loyola President Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., sent a letter Monday affirming the university’s obligation to the students and outlining the assistance they will receive, which includes tuition payment, housing and board, and meal plans, provided by the university’s food service contractor Sodexo.

Chris Wiseman and Anna Justice, from the Office of Institutional Advancement, and Sarah Cooper, president of the Student Government Association, are leading efforts to raise $150,000 over the next three years to provide assistance. Debbie Danna, director of Loyola's Center for International Education, Tony Decuir, associate dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts, and Robert Reed, assistant vice president of student affairs, are working with university administration to help craft and execute the assistance plan. Reed also co-chairs Loyola’s Hope for Haiti task force, which was formed in January to identify relief resources and plan for a sustained aid effort to the island nation and to community members touched by the tragedy.

Members of the task force and the overall Loyola community have staged music and dance performances, fundraising efforts and supply drives to help relief agencies in Haiti. Jean Montès, Ph.D., director of orchestral studies, organized the collection of musical instruments, which he delivered to the Holy Trinity School of Music in Port-au-Prince in March.

Wildes said the Loyola community is glad to be able to care for Haitian students, so that they may have the help they need to graduate from the university.

“New Orleans knows well the impact of a natural disaster, and it has always been Loyola’s mission to take an active role in rebuilding and in healing,” Wildes said. “These great students are excellent contributors to Loyola and have continued to work hard in the midst of this turbulent semester. We hope that this small act by the university will assist them in their personal roads to recovery.”

For more information on Loyola’s relief efforts or to donate, contact Reed at 504-865-3737 or rareed@loyno.edu, or Hope for Haiti co-chair Kurt Bindewald, director of University Ministry at 504-865-2083 or kjbindew@loyno.edu.

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