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A Message from the President Regarding Hurricane Harvey


Dear members of the SLU community,

We begin this fall semester today with heavy hearts as we continue to learn of the devastation Hurricane Harvey brings to southeast Texas and the surrounding areas. At least five people have lost their lives, more than 13 million people there are under a flood watch and hundreds of thousands are seeking shelter. The rain is forecast to continue for days, with the rivers expected to crest later this week. Words do not do justice to the severity of the damage.

SLU is a home-away-from-home for many students from the areas that are directly affected by the hurricane. This is an extremely difficult time for them and for their families. The Division of Student Development is reaching out to impacted students to offer support and help in this time of need. If you know someone from the affected areas – or who have family from the affected areas – I encourage you to reach out to them as well. I know your concern and compassion will be appreciated. Other opportunities to support the relief effort can be found here

During previous natural disasters, SLU and other universities have contacted higher education institutions in the impacted cities to offer our support. I have asked Provost Brickhouse to explore ways SLU could support college students and faculty who may be displaced by the hurricane and are relocated to St. Louis. We will develop a plan to accommodate those from our sister institutions if the need arises. This is what our mission calls us to do. This is how we must serve humanity.

During last night's 9 p.m. Mass at College Church, Fran and I joined hundreds from the SLU community in praying for those who are experiencing this catastrophe and those risking their lives to save others. Additionally, all are invited to join a prayer service for those affected by the hurricane on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 4:30 p.m. at the Clock Tower.


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.


 Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.