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March 15, 2011

To the University Community:

A tragedy of unimaginable proportions has stunned the world.

News reports of the devastation caused by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan continue to reveal the plight of victims throughout the region. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by this disaster and its unfolding aftermath.

We are reaching out to members of the University community who were either in Japan at the time or who have loved ones there. Our Office of Alumni Relations and individual schools and colleges are also contacting alumni in Japan. Communications within the affected areas have been extremely difficult, and many are still anxiously awaiting information on friends and family.

Should you require assistance, several University of Miami programs are available to help. International students and scholars can reach out to advisors from the Department of International Student and Scholar Services, who can be reached at 305-284-2928 or isss@miami.edu. Other students can contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at 305-284-4922 or vpsa@miami.edu. University faculty, staff, and their dependents can receive confidential support from the Faculty Staff Assistance Program, which is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employees from all campuses can call the FSAP at 305-284-6604 to schedule an appointment.

Many of you have asked how you can help.

The United Way of Miami-Dade and The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald have activated Operation Helping Hands. Donations can be made at www.iwant2help.org or by sending a check payable to Operation Helping Hands, c/o United Way of Miami-Dade, P.O. Box 459007, Miami, Florida 33245-9007.

For other ways to help and a list of relief aid organizations recommended by the American Institute of Philanthropy, please visit charitywatch.org.

We will continue to follow developments in Japan and provide any assistance we can.