Evergreen responds to Hurricane Katrina; some students return to Gulf Coast

October 26, 2005

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region in August, and schools around Washington stepped forward to do their part in assisting displaced students from the areas affected by the storm.

Evergreen enrolled five students whose schools were affected by Katrina. Evergreen also committed to waive tuition for these students for at least two quarters.

"Our primary goal is to assist the schools affected by Katrina through supporting the academic work of their students," says Evergreen President Les Purce. Three of the five students returned to New Orleans in late October.

Aside from Evergreen’s efforts to support students affected, events supporting the relief effort were held. On Sept. 22, President Purce was the master of ceremonies at a widely attended benefit performance at Olympia’s Washington Center for the Performing Arts, and in mid-October, Evergreen’s Master of Public Administration Student Union sponsored a panel discussion and forum on public policy surrounding Katrina and accepted donations for the American Red Cross.

The college has five continuing students from the areas affected by the hurricane. Evergreen’s Office of Student Affairs has been in close contact with those students as well and is offering assistance as necessary.

Evergreen received many offers from the community after President Purce’s initial call for community support for the students. Dean of Students and Academic Support Services Phyllis Lane was designated to coordinate Evergreen’s response to hurricane issues. Lane acted as a liaison for the students and pursued potential resources for the students through the community, FEMA, the Red Cross and Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services.

111 students affected by the disaster enrolled at Washington public four-year institutions. Evergreen and Western matched at six students each for the second-highest number of enrolled students, behind UW, according to the Council of Presidents of Washington’s six public four-year schools.