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Letter to the Harvard community regarding the tsunami

Dear Members of the Harvard Community:

All of us grieve with people around the world over last week’s horrific natural disaster, the enormity of which is still becoming apparent. Though the events took place far from here, many of us feel a loss that is personal and immediate. Our hearts go out to the millions of people who have been directly affected.

Our community’s immediate reaction has been one of compassion. Groups across the University have begun mobilizing resources, and many individuals have found personal ways to contribute. Your response has been thoughtful and generous, and no doubt it will continue to grow. In order to assist and connect our students, faculty, and staff who have begun to organize efforts and events, we have set up a Web page intended as a resource for all. In addition, to encourage members of our community who would like to make financial contributions, the University will match, up to $100, pledges made by Harvard students, faculty, and staff to Community Gifts Through Harvard – Tsunami Disaster Relief and the Boston Chapter of the Red Cross.

Community Gifts Through Harvard – Tsunami Disaster Relief
Harvard employees may make an online donation through payroll deduction.

The Boston Chapter of the Red Cross
After entering your information on the preliminary screen, on the succeeding screen please select:
Under DESIGNATION – South Asia Earthquake and Tsunami
Under SOURCE – Harvard Community Tsunami Relief Effort

As a community, we rely on one another for strength and support. For those of us personally touched by these devastating events, talking to friends and colleagues can help us cope with our grief or distress. In addition, members of University Health Services are available to those who would like to talk privately about their reactions to this tragedy. The Bureau of Study Counsel is also holding group sessions for students who would like to reflect with their peers on the events of last week.

Many thanks to all of you for your concern, compassion, and generosity at such a difficult time. If you have additional ideas about how Harvard can tap its academic resources in ways that might be of assistance in South Asia and Africa, I encourage you to share it with us at

Lawrence H. Summers