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CONTACT: Beth L. Lorow
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Office: (717) 691-6027

Messiah College's response to Hurricane Katrina

GRANTHAM, Pa. (Sept. 7, 2005) – In response to the devastation along the Gulf Coast of the United States after Hurricane Katrina, Messiah College students, employees and faculty have organized the following campus responses:

(Editor's Note: To view the most up-to-date list of Messiah College response efforts, visit

Completed efforts:

  • The college held a special prayer time for the victims of Hurricane Katrina during its chapel service on Sept. 1.
  • Students collected an offering during their weekly chapel services on Sept. 1 and 6, which to date has raised $3,500 for relief.
  • President Kim S. Phipps announced in a campus-wide statement on Sept. 2 that all campus relief efforts will be coordinated through Greg Anderson, interim director of the Agapé Center.
  • The college passed collection buckets through the audience during the Messiah College men’s soccer game on Sept. 3 and collected $775 for relief efforts.
  • On Sept. 7, Messiah College administrators announced that the college will enroll, register, and waive tuition, fees and room charges for the fall semester for students who are currently enrolled at regionally accredited institutions closed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. This offer applies to students who had already made arrangements for these costs with their home institutions. Students should contact the Messiah College Admissions Office by Sept. 15, 2005. The college will make every effort to accommodate and assist interested students. For more information or to apply, call 1-800-233-4220 or e-mail
  • On Sept. 7, Messiah College announced that it will make an institutional gift in the amount of $10,000 to Mennonite Disaster Service.

Efforts occurring the week of Sept. 5, 2005:

  • The college will continue to collect funds to be donated to the Mennonite Disaster Service, the relief and development agency of the Mennonite USA church, which also has connections to the Brethren in Christ church, the founding denomination of Messiah College.
  • The student programs office at the college will host an event to celebrate New Orleans culture on Sept. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Larsen Student Union to provide an opportunity for students to learn more about ways to help with various relief efforts. The event will include special food items and live music by bluesman K.J. James. Information tables will be set up for students and employees to learn how they can help.
  • On Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. in Hostetter Chapel, the Messiah College community will hold an opportunity for prayer and reflection as the current situation along the Gulf Coast continues to unfold. This time has been specifically designed for the college community to come together as they begin to process and respond to this tragedy. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and participate.

Efforts still in the planning stages:

  • Messiah College will invite a displaced family to live in a house in Grantham owned by the college. The college will help the family relocate to the central Pennsylvania area and also provide campus employment.
  • The college ministries staff is currently organizing special chapel services to address related topics, such as the following: “How do we respond? Where is God during disasters?;” “Recognizing the need for grief: the theology of lament;” “How relief is done: the process of organizing emergency relief efforts;” and “How to select an organization for donation.”
  • The local community services staff is checking to see if Messiah College could participate in Habitat for Humanity’s “Operation Home Delivery” – a project where homes will be constructed in various locations across the country and then delivered to the affected areas after the land is de-polluted.
  • The Messiah College campus is coordinating a competition between residence halls and employees to see who can assemble the most health kits and school kits for Mission Central. The kits would then be included on a truck shipment to Louisiana on Sept. 21.
  • While service organizations are not currently accepting volunteers to travel to the devastated areas, staff members at the Agapé Center for Service and Learning would like to begin to arrange future service projects for students, employees, faculty, and alumni – possibly during fall break, winter break, January-term or spring break.
  • The human resources office is working with administrative and staff councils, and will partner with a local service agency, to organize two employee service teams during spring break and the summer season.

About Messiah College

Messiah College, a private Christian college of the liberal and applied arts and sciences, enrolls more than 2,900 undergraduate students in 50 majors. Established in 1909, the primary campus is located in Grantham, Pa., near the state capital of Harrisburg. A satellite campus affiliated with Temple University is located in Philadelphia.

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