Back to Current News
Jacque Smith, Director of Public Relations

Sept. 16, 2005

Union College responds to Hurricane Katrina with long-term planning

While the faculty, staff, and students of Union College continue to offer prayers and support for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, plans are developing for a multi-phased response to the disaster.
        “Even before the storm had finished sweeping through the Gulf States, Union students were asking how we could help,” said Rich Carlson, campus chaplain. “The campus is following up with several student-initiated ideas that we hope will be of long-term service to some of the people whose lives have been scrambled by the hurricane.”
        Initially much of Union’s response to the hurricane was targeted to assist with the relief efforts for Gulf States residents who were slated to relocate to Lincoln. “We prepared to add our support and resources to the organizations who geared up to host the hurricane survivors, but this relocation plan has not materialized,” Carlson said. “We are here to help if a group does relocate to this area, but according to city officials, this plan is on hold.”

Free semester offer
Union is offering free tuition for the semester beginning in January 2006 to any student previously attending a college or university forced to close by Hurricane Katrina.
        Students accepting this plan will be responsible for room, board, and book expenses unless there are extenuating circumstances. Students participating in this offer will be classified as non-matriculating, visiting students and will be expected to pursue all federal and institutional aid options. Second semester classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2006 and registration is Monday, Jan. 9. Students wishing to accept this offer should contact the Union College Admissions Office by Nov.15, 2005.
Phone: 402.486.2504

Personal Care Kits
Union students are collecting funds to purchase personal care kits for those who have lost their belongings. The Saturday following the hurricane, student leaders designated a Sabbath Experience (Union’s version of Sabbath School) offering to help kick-start the personal care kit funds. More than $400 has been raised to date. In addition, student volunteers coordinated through the residence hall pastors are collecting clothes and other personal items to be distributed through Adventist Disaster Response.
        To add your support to Union’s fund raising effort, contact Campus Ministries at 402.486.2508 or e-mail

Trips to the region
Plans are developing to send a group of students from Union’s international rescue and relief program to the Gulf Coast to assist with hurricane cleanup and humanitarian relief. Possible travel dates include mid-term break in October and holiday breaks later in the year.
        “Our campus continues to be very aware of the long-term needs of the people in this devastated region,” said Union College President David Smith. “While we wish there was more we could do in an immediate way to help relieve the suffering of the hurricane survivors, Union is committed to finding opportunities to be as helpful as we can now and for months to come.”