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October 11, 2016

To the University Community:

Last week we came together to prepare for the imminent threat of Hurricane Matthew. The University of Miami's Crisis Decision Team made the appropriate recommendations in ceasing non-essential operations on our campuses and facilities, prioritizing the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. The University was vigilant in its storm preparations, and I was impressed to see how quickly and seamlessly all the required components came together.

I would like to thank our emergency management team, our facilities managers, our Division of Student Affairs staff, and our hotline volunteers for their work before, during, and after the storm.

While those of us in South Florida avoided a direct hit, our neighbors in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean were not as fortunate. The number of lives lost due to the catastrophic force of the storm continues to increase. We are also painfully aware that other parts of Florida and the East Coast continue to face the devastating effects of this major storm and its aftermath.

Members of Planet Kreyol, our Haitian-American student organization, have already started collecting donations of goods to send to Haiti. They have partnered with the Haitian Consulate and City of Miami. I am proud to let you know that Project Medishare, which is part of the UM Global Institute for Community Health and Service, led by our own Dr. Barth Green, has also mounted a massive relief effort in the south of Haiti and is caring for those seriously ill and injured, helping to ship vital materials and opening a hospital-based clinic in the worst hit area.

On Saturday the University of Miami and Florida State University each donated $50,000 to support the American Red Cross's hurricane relief efforts. Our Miami Hurricanes football team sported American Red Cross stickers on their helmets in support of these same efforts.

I urge you all to consider making a donation—no matter the amount, or in what manner—to the Hurricane Matthew relief efforts.

Working together, our resilient spirit can help others rebuild.