Gulf Coast students begin arriving at WFU

By Kevin Cox
Sept. 6, 2005

Students from Gulf Coast universities began arriving this week at Wake Forest University, where they will study this fall after their own schools were forced to close due to Hurricane Katrina.

President Nathan O. Hatch

Fourteen undergraduates spent Sept. 6 in a special one-day orientation session introducing them to Wake Forest and helping them to enroll in classes. Most were freshmen who had arrived at Tulane on the weekend of the hurricane, but were sent home by Tulane officials immediately after moving their belongings into their residence hall rooms. One student, a junior, is from the University of New Orleans.

The students — who are enrolling as visiting students for the fall — are residents of Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas.

Wake Forest does not anticipate enrolling any additional undergraduates from the Gulf Coast region this fall.

Two of the freshmen arriving Sept. 6 — Courtney Kligman of Marietta, Ga., and Shana Bellin of Austin, Texas — had been scheduled to be roommates at Tulane. After becoming friends during the summer, they were determined to go to school together.

"We didn't want to be split up," Bellin said.

Nathan O. Hatch, president of Wake Forest, extended an invitation to undergraduate, graduate and professional school students from Gulf Coast schools last week.

"Almost immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Wake Forest began hearing from university students in that area hoping to find some temporary relief at our university," Hatch said Sept. 2.

"Our goal is to help the students and ultimately to support the colleges and universities that have suffered such an extraordinary setback," Hatch added.

All schools at Wake Forest are participating in the effort to assist the Gulf Coast area students. They include the undergraduate College, the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Babcock Graduate School of Management, the Divinity School, the School of Law and the School of Medicine.

For instance, seven law students from the region have already arrived this week, and a few more may enroll soon. The law school is enrolling students from Loyola and Tulane universities in New Orleans.

It is not known, yet, how many graduate and professional students may attend Wake Forest.

All students arriving at Wake Forest will be joining classes already in progress, since Wake Forest classes began in August.

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