2005-2006 Academic Year

Message from President Trombley: Helping the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

Dear Pitzer College Community,

I would like to extend a special note of appreciation to you for giving so generously of your time and other resources to better the lives of the many people affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Pitzer's immediate response was to open its doors to two displaced students from Xavier University: Adrienne Roberts and Danielle Salmon. Our entire community was supportive of our outreach and of the full scholarships given to these students so greatly affected by the catastrophic storm.

In September, approximately 30 Pitzer students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni assisted the Ontario chapter of the Red Cross in setting up area shelters for families affected by Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Pitzer far exceeded its goal set by the Red Cross by collecting a significant supply of linens and towels to donate to the shelters. Sandy Silva of the Inland Valley Red Cross wrote to us acknowledging our contribution: "On behalf of the board of directors of the Inland Valley Chapter, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to you and to your students, faculty and staff for your willingness to assist the American Red Cross make critical preparations for Katrina evacuees arriving in California this month. Your quick response, teamwork and assistance with logistical and shelter support made our preparations run smoother; knowing we could count on Pitzer College certainly made a difficult situation easier to handle."

Nine Pitzer students traveled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi during fall break and stayed in a FEMA Tent City with families who had been displaced by the catastrophe. First year Pitzer student Adam Forbes led this effort and was accompanied by Pitzer students Miri Plowman, Andrew Sachs, Springsong Cooper, Nelson Jimenez, Laura Brinn, Daphne Churchill, Alden Towler, and Hannah Locke. Funding for the trip was made possible by a Pitzer College trustee, alumnae, parents of current Pitzer students, and College funds.

Pitzer students have held several events to raise funds for Red Cross hurricane relief: students from Visiting Assistant Professor Kebokile Dengu-Zvobgo's GFS 60 Women in the Third World class held a bake sale and raised more than $740, and students also held a Mardi Gras themed dinner in McConnell dining hall, followed by a comedy show in Avery Auditorium, which raised $1,687.

Retired professor Jackie Levering-Sullivan and her husband Professor Jack Sullivan led the community in collecting hundreds of children's books for the younger population affected by Katrina. It is with great appreciation that I thank the members of the Pitzer community who led or participated in other fundraising activities not mentioned within this note, as well as for all ongoing and future initiatives.

Several Pitzer courses have integrated aspects of the Katrina tragedy into the curriculum, including Professor Dipa Basu’s Introduction to Black Studies. Professor Basu’s class is completing active-oriented research in small groups on issues related to race, poverty, urbanism and other related issues.

Our support efforts continue with an Indian Cuisine with American Music benefit held for Hurricane Katrina Relief at 7 PM on Friday, Oct. 21 in the Pitzer Gold Student Center. Minimum donations will be $7.

Sincerely Yours,
Laura Skandera Trombley