The college campus community has banded together in a unified demonstration of support for the College’s Katrina relief effort. Franklin Pierce has received fifteen of its twenty intended students who were displaced from Gulf Coast schools as a result of the hurricane. The College also welcomed Dr. Niyi Osundare, professor of English from the University of New Orleans and an internationally-acclaimed Nigerian poet.

“In ordinary times of trouble, you give what you can. But in extraordinary times of trouble, you give what you have,” said Dr. Michael Bell, Provost and Chief Academic Office of Franklin Pierce College. “What we have to offer is an excellent education and a welcoming academic environment. We are committed to helping those individuals affected by tragedy to maintain continuity and progress in their lives. It’s the right thing to do.”

Some lost most of their material possessions after being forced to evacuate from their school dormitories. Members of the Franklin Pierce community have helped with travel arrangements, met them at the airport, and helped them unpack and arrange their rooms. They have driven them to local businesses to purchase linens, toiletries and other essential items. Faculty and student organizations have quickly embraced these guests and helped them find a social network.

The College is providing Katrina Scholarships, consisting of free tuition and room and board for the fall semester, to students who currently represent Loyola University, Dillard University and Tulane University. 5 students are from New Hampshire. Others are from Mississippi, Louisiana and California.

Dr. Osundare, considered by many to be the greatest living Nigerian poet, arrived at Franklin Pierce College after a short stay in Birmingham, Alabama. He and his wife, Kame, lost nearly everything in Hurricane Katrina and barely escaped the floodwaters. They were rescued by boat and were staying with friends when Franklin Pierce College extended the offer to teach for a semester. Dr. Osundare received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Franklin Pierce in 2001. He will serve as guest lecturer and poet-in-resident for the fall term.

Most students on campus and in the broader Monadnock community have given generously to help meet the material needs of Gulf Coast students and Dr. Osundare.

The Rindge Faculty Federation donated $4,000 to assist in covering the cost of students’ textbooks, and a trustee has contributed $10,000 to help meet needs for clothes, academic supplies and other required items. “People continue to ask what they can do to help,” President Hagerty said. “I am proud that our institution has responded with such generosity.”

Anyone who would like to contribute can send a check, made out to Franklin Pierce College with a reference to “Katrina Scholarship Fund,” to Franklin Pierce College, College Relations Department, 20 College Road, Rindge, NH, 03461. Donations can also be sent online.

The most likely recipients of merit scholarships are those who are strong students in all subjects.

George Marshall, for whom the Marshall Scholarship was named, was a veteran military leader and one of the authors of the much ballyhooed Marshall Plan.

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