Baylor President Starr's Message to Baylor Nation: Supporting Our Neighbors in West

April 18, 2013

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Contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275 or cell 254-709-5959

Just 17 miles from our beautiful campus, lives have been taken, people have been injured and homes have been lost. Baylor students, faculty, staff and alumni have been personally impacted by the horrific devastation in our neighboring community of West -- home to 13 of our students, 43 of our faculty and staff and 262 of our alumni. We continue with sorrow to be in prayer for these members of the Baylor family whose lives have been disrupted by this disaster so suddenly.

But on this day, Diadeloso, the Day of the Bear, we are seeing our community rise up to demonstrate what it means to be a Baylor Bear. Throughout the United States, citizens of Baylor Nation are heading to blood banks; making monetary gifts online to support emergency relief efforts; and providing basic supplies to meet the needs of daily life -- to help feed, clothe and comfort our friends and neighbors. On Diadeloso, a day of tradition for our University, Baylor Nation is choosing to embody an even greater tradition -- that inspired by Christ Jesus to be energetically in service to the needy.

In the wake of the Boston and West tragedies this week, an ever-increasing need exists for blood donations. That is now true all across the nation. Please respond to this need.

Those wishing to make gifts of monetary support to the West Relief Fund may do so through an online giving portal on the Baylor University website: www.baylor.edu/relief/give. The portal may also be accessed from our webpage established last evening to keep the University community informed of emergency relief efforts and opportunities: www.baylor.edu/relief. As of 5:30 p.m. today, we have received about 200 online donations totaling nearly $15,000 for the West Relief Fund. Thank you, Baylor Nation.

Locally, donations for relief efforts in West will be collected at tonight's free benefit concert at the Ferrell Center featuring the musical group, Five for Fighting. If you are able, please consider participating in this concluding event of Diadeloso.

Over the course of the coming days, the immediacy associated with the devastation in West will pass. But the need will remain significant as our friends and neighbors begin the lengthy process of restoring lives shaken by this disaster. May we who are part of the community of faith at Baylor University remain steadfast in our support for the people of West and, through prayer and practice, continue to reflect the light of Christ.

Ken Starr
Baylor President

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