NEWS

Louisiana Tech committed to assisting students impacted by Hurricane Laura

Sep 3, 2020 | Alumni, General News, Giving, Students, Tech Family

Students at Louisiana Tech University are beginning to arrive back in Ruston — six months after departing campus because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Today, though, the Aug. 27 landfall of Hurricane Laura has left many Tech students with even more challenges.

“The impacts in southwest Louisiana have been catastrophic, and our many students from that portion of the state suffered losses in the storm,” said Dr. Les Guice, Louisiana Tech president. “We are working quickly to respond to their needs and ensure they can begin the quarter next week.”

The University set up a Hurricane Laura hotline to answer questions and respond to student’s emerging needs.

“I have two uncles, a great uncle, and their families who lost everything,” said senior marketing major Sydney Seaford, of Sulphur, who traveled home to help her family with recovery efforts. “My grandfather just lost his wife and is now trying to salvage what he can. In these devastating times, you realize what is most important in life. It’s not the material things that bring you joy or help you recover from total loss. It’s your family, friends, and support system that gets you through it all.”

The Tech Family — a part of that support system — has started organizing cleanup efforts and supporting friends and family in affected areas. The values that guide the behavior of Bulldog alumni and students are on full display across our region, and a gift to the Student Relief Fund is just one way alumni can provide an immediate impact on those who need it most.

Initially created to assist students with ongoing needs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Relief Fund has already received gifts from alumni in nearly every state, coast to coast.

“We know that our students who lost everything in the hurricane are going to need items to begin the school year — from supplies for their residence hall rooms to laptops and textbooks. Our alumni and friends have already stepped up in a big way to provide financial support to aid these students,” said Maddie Patton, a 2019 grad who now serves as coordinator for advancement.

The University is also allowing students impacted by the storm to move in early. To date, around 25 students from southwest Louisiana have already moved back to campus. Meal plans have been activated early to provide additional support.

“From the April 2019 tornado and the COVID-19 pandemic to Hurricane Laura, our students continue to prove their resiliency and drive despite unprecedented challenges. We are grateful to our alumni and friends for once again responding immediately to support our students,” Guice said. “Our friends at McNeese State University have also experienced tremendous loss. We are holding their students, faculty, and staff close in our thoughts, and are committed to helping them through this difficult time.”

Comfortable spaces with free wifi are available on campus for McNeese students from north Louisiana so they can continue to engage in their online classes.

Louisiana Tech students with questions can call the Hurricane Laura hotline at 318. 257.3211 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Donations to support the Student Relief Fund can be made online at ltu.al/studentrelief.