September 21, 2017

Dear University of Miami Family,

I have been inspired over the past couple of weeks by the U’s unique spirit—that special fusion of bold resilience in the face of adversity combined with a keen determination to not only rebound but to be renewed and revitalized. As I see our students, faculty, and staff together, side-by-side, living, working, learning, and caring for others, this is the essence of what it means to be a relevant and exemplary university community.

I hope that all of you have fared well through the many disruptions caused by Hurricane Irma—we in South Florida are fortunate that the storm’s impact was not as devastating as we had feared and prepared for. As we return to our daily lives, we are mindful that this is an especially difficult time for our neighbors—in Florida, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Many of us have members of our extended family and friends who are facing calamitous circumstances. Now is the time to reach out and help one another.

Many of you have asked how you can help. I want to share with you some opportunities for giving back and making a difference any way you can:

  • Volunteer: Students are invited to join me at the 'Canes in the Community Hurricane Irma Relief Day of Service tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register at Employees can search for volunteer opportunities online.

  • Give to the Red Cross: Make your donation online or at the football game on Saturday.

  • Donate to the United Way: Make your online gift to support Operation Helping Hands.

  • Donate non-perishable foods and basic household supplies at designated bins on campus.

We are reaching out to our students in affected areas in the Caribbean and Mexico, and offering our assistance and solidarity. Should you need support, please reach out to the following confidential resources:

Student Resources

  • The Counseling Center offers confidential counseling and crisis intervention services for all students. Students can make an appointment or call after hours to speak with a mental health professional at 305-284-5511 (24/7).
  • University Chaplains provide a variety of support services for all students. For more information, call 305-284-8118. 

Faculty and Staff 

  • The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) offers free and confidential consultation and referral services to University of Miami faculty, staff, and retirees, as well as their domestic partners, spouses, and dependents. Sessions are conducted by Florida licensed mental health professionals who assess concerns, offer support, and recommend services that can be of help. Contact them at 305-284-6604.

We are here for you. We are here for one another.