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College Joins Grieving Nation in Asking, ‘Where Are We Needed?’

(The following is a message issued to the Penn College community Wednesday, Sept. 12, by Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, College president)

I wish to thank the employees and students for the cooperation and support shown Tuesday during our nation’s tragedy. As you are aware, the College remained open throughout the day. We did so in keeping with the sentiment expressed by President Bush that it was important for the country to stand united and to maintain, to the extent possible, a sense of normal operations in communities not directly affected by the actions of terrorists.

What can we do to help? Penn College has reached out to offer assistance through the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Red Cross officials ask that we play our part by donating blood at one of the Penn College Bloodmobiles in October. While there is a great need for blood now, the officials indicate there is a large stockpile of blood for immediate use. There will be a need to replace the current supply and the Red Cross requests that, as members of the Penn College family, we do all we can to ensure those on-campus blood drives are successful. Details on campus Bloodmobiles, as well as others taking place in the local community, will be offered on PCToday. I urge everyone who can to participate.

The College also has been in touch with Susquehanna Health System to offer assistance should local health-care providers be needed to support recovery efforts in New York and/or Washington. While there is no immediate need, SHS has thanked us for our offer of assistance.

College flags have been lowered in compliance with the federal order to honor the nation during this time. The flag that normally flies over the campus entrance was removed earlier this week for repairs.

Counseling support continues to be available for those who feel they could benefit from this assistance. Students may contact Counseling and Career Services, located in the Bush Campus Center, by calling ext. 4765. Resident students also may receive assistance through the Residence Hall Association. Employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program or the Office of Human Resources.

All employees who are traveling on College business have been accounted for and contacted by the College and assisted in making appropriate arrangements for return travel.

All of Penn College is open for classes, activities and services today. The Aviation Center, which was closed for part of the day Tuesday at the request of officials of the Williamsport Regional Airport, reopened this morning.

Anyone contacted by or confronted on campus by members of the media are reminded that they are under no obligation to speak to reporters. If you do receive any request for information from the media, please contact the Office of College Information and Community Relations at ext. 7253.

In the event that students or employees who are members of the military reserves and/or National Guard are called to duty, Penn College will fully support these individuals’ service to the country and will protect their status at the institution through their time of service. Any student called to active duty should contact the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. James Fitzpatrick, in the executive office area of the Hager Lifelong Education Center, at ext. 7487. Any employee called to active duty should contact the Office of Human Resources at ext. 4770.

Faculty who may wish to use class time for discussion of Tuesday’s events, may be interested in reading suggestions that are being distributed nationally by the University of Michigan. These will be shared via an e-mail message to faculty and staff this morning.

Again, I thank you all for your cooperation and support during this time. May we stand with all Americans, united in a cause of freedom and peace.

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