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Brown, Princeton Pledge to Help Rebuild Dillard University


Brown and Princeton universities have promised to team up and help rebuild flood-damaged Dillard University, a historically Black college in New Orleans.

The universities have offered staff to help repair facilities, restock libraries, plan classes and other tasks, Princeton spokeswoman Cass Cliatt said. They may also donate equipment and other materials.

Brown and Princeton formed the partnership after learning each had made separate offers to help Dillard. Brown University President Ruth Simmons, who graduated from Dillard and worked in administration at Princeton for 10 years, helped bring the schools together.

“For so many years and for so many students, Dillard has been a dependable source of support in the struggle to overcome disadvantaged backgrounds,” Simmons said. “Restoring that beautiful campus and returning its academic programs to their full function will take time, effort, resources and dedication.”

The first step will be assessing Dillard’s needs, Cliatt said. Administrators are trying to set up a meeting, possibly in New Orleans.

Dillard, which has a $46.6 million endowment, has already set up a hurricane relief fund to raise money to replace equipment, library books and other instructional materials and students’ belongings.

The storm damaged roofs and flooded buildings on Dillard’s 55-acre campus. Three other buildings were destroyed days later by fire.

Dillard evacuated its students and closed its campus for the fall. The university, which has 2,700 students, has encouraged them to enroll in other colleges and universities for the semester, but officials plan to reopen in January.

Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman said the universities would ask students and alumni, as well as faculty and staff, for help with the rebuilding effort.

“To be successful, this will have to be a broadly collaborative effort over an extended period of time,” Tilghman said.

— Associated Press

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