In the wake of Irma and Maria, two Category 5 hurricanes that did substantial damage throughout the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix, the St. Thomas Campus and the St. John Academic Center, the University of the Virgin Islands has created the UVI Rise Relief Fund (UVIRRF) to assist students, faculty and staff who were impacted.
West Hall Residence Hall, the MacLean Marine Center and the Reichhold Center for the Arts on St. Thomas, the Research and Technology Park and the Aquaponics Center on the Albert A. Sheen Campus are among the buildings removed from operation due to the severity of the damages sustained. Preliminary estimates determine it will take approximately $51 million to rebuild both campus communities. With the staff working through adversity, UVI resumed classes on Oct. 9.
“Immediately after the hurricanes, we began assessing the needs of our students and staff and realized that this challenging environment would have a negative impact on their overall well-being for the next few months,” said Mitchell Neaves, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “The goal for the UVI Rise Fund is to support the basic needs of the UVI family and bring a sense of normalcy to the 2,800 people who were impacted by these storms and allow us the opportunity to provide support to the people who support this institution.”
“Several universities and civic organizations have reached out to lend support to our recovery but more funding is needed,” said UVI President David Hall.
Students from approximately 11 countries are enrolled on the two campuses.
“This fund is meant to support the students and the faculty and staff who fuel their higher academic achievement. Many within the UVI family have lost their homes but have returned to work to aid students in achieving their academic dreams,” Hall said.
See this link to a video that speaks to the damage caused: UVI Rise Relief Fund
The university asks that people become fundraisers today and promote the fund through their social networking groups in helping to rebuild UVI. Fundraisers will create a personal goal they would like to reach and encourage people within their community to contribute.
The goal of UVIRRF is to raise $900,000. Over 2,600 students and staff members were impacted by these storms, and community support is imperative. People should text: 2017IRMA to 71777 to support this effort. A gift to the UVI Rise Relief Fund is 100 percent tax deductible.
UVI is encouraging individuals and businesses who can to lend their support and aid in the recovery by assisting with basic needs required during a state of emergency.
“The university has made the campus community a space where our employees and students can get energized and enjoy amenities that are no longer accessible at home,” said Neaves. “The UVI Rise Fund helps to expand our overall efforts.”
UVI is a public, co-ed, land-grant Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the United States Virgin Islands. The institution offers 47 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across its five colleges and schools and a Ph.D. in Creative Leadership for Innovation and Change.
The students and staff members at the University of the Virgin Islands are seeking the public’s assistance in addressing immediate needs in the wake of Hurricane Irma and Maria to rebuild the university. If you would like to contribute to our students and staff in this time of need, please see the link below to donate.
For more information or to become a fundraiser and donate visit: UVI Rise Relief Fund.