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BC Announces Efforts to Assist Hurricane Katrina Victims

Berea College offers educational and relief aid to displaced students and communities affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Berea College President Larry Shinn has announced ways the College will provide educational and relief aid to displaced students and communities affected by Hurricane Katrina.

"It is always important to be grateful for our blessings and to recognize our responsibility to reach out to those who have suffered such a great misfortune," said Shinn. "Immediate responses are critical, and we must do more as additional needs are identified in the weeks and months ahead. Berea College remains committed to preparing students to be compassionate and reponsible citizens and leaders who will respond at moments of crisis, who can provide essential expertise, and who will consider long-term issues."

The following activities are planned or underway.

Accommodate displaced students
Berea College will join the coordinated efforts of other colleges and universities across the country to reach out to institutions of higher education in need, especially their current students. We are seeking ways to contact affected schools, but such communications currently are difficult to make. The College welcomes displaced students who are seeking a place to learn and study, and it will do all it can to serve well those in need. Some Berea faculty members have volunteered to teach additional classes without compensation if necessary. Students who have been displaced from their home campuses should contact the Berea College Office of Admissions (Phone Toll-Free: 800-326-5948, or email: ) to discuss enrollment and residence options. Campus housing is available for approximately 40 additional students (25 women and 15 men), and many Berea College community members have extended their hospitality to address any unmet housing needs as well.

Provide appropriate assistance, as needed, to existing Berea students who are from Louisiana and Mississippi.

Provide guidance to current students for efforts such as clothing donations, etc.

Accommodate alumni in regions affected by Hurricane Katrina
Identify Berea College alumni in the stricken areas who might need help and provide information on the Alumni Association webpage about how alumni can offer or connect with needed assistance.

Coordinate Contributions for relief efforts
Use the Berea College Campus Christian Center as a collection point for the donation of funds to the following organizations for hurricane relief: the United Way, the Salvation Army, or the Red Cross.

Hold a coffeehouse with a Cajun theme to raise funds and increase awareness. The coffeehouse will be coordinated by students in Berea's CELTS program (Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service. Other actions initiated by the Bonner Scholars, Student Government Association, House Councils, and other campus organizations are already underway. There will be additional efforts to collect monetary donations in various College venues and campus-wide events.

Coordinate efforts in the broader community
The Berea City mayor has formed a commission that includes Berea College, local churches, civic groups, local government, hospital, etc. to serve as a primary clearinghouse with the following charge: 1) to investigate and identify specific needs; 2) to determine the Berea community’s ability to respond; 3) to serve as a locus of inter-organizational communication at national, state, and local levels (i.e., with the American Red Cross, Kentucky Emergency Management, etc.); 4) to prioritize recommended actions; and 5) to publicize requests and information. The overall goal of the Commission is to represent the community and to leverage community support.

Other efforts under consideration
Future actions may include a Short Term class on rebuilding through service that will provide a service-learning trip to the areas devastated by Katrina.

For more information about admitting displaced students contact Berea College Admissions (Phone Toll-Free: 800-326-5948, or email: ; for information about relief donations, contact the Campus Christian Center, Dr. Jeff Pool director,(859-985-3926) and for campus fundraising and service activities contact the Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS) at (859-985-3935, or

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