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MIT begins response to Haitian earthquake

Fund for MIT-led efforts established, efforts under way
Earthquake intensity map of Haiti from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Earthquake intensity map of Haiti from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Image: USGS

MIT is mobilizing financial, humanitarian and technical resources in response to the earthquake this week that is believed to have killed tens of thousands of people in Haiti.

Thanks to the generosity of Ronald A. Kurtz ’54, ’59, SM ’60 and his wife, Carol, a fund has been established at MIT to help support the Institute’s relief activities. In the coming days and weeks, the Office of the President will work with the leaders of MIT-led Haitian relief efforts as well as interested members of the MIT community to determine how the fund can be best put to use. Members of the community who would like to give to that fund can do so here

MIT’s Public Service Center is coordinating information about MIT community relief efforts and has already identified ways in which members of the community can assist Haiti. The PSC is setting up a web page to share information about the various efforts involving the MIT community. More details are available at

The PSC is also coordinating a fundraising effort focused on immediate support for Partners in Health (PIH).

“We are all joined in deep sorrow over the enormous tragedy in Haiti,” said MIT President Susan Hockfield. “Our hearts go out particularly to members of our community with loved ones there. Many at the Institute have expressed their desire to help, and a multi-faceted MIT response is taking shape, with efforts under way to provide financial, technical and other assistance. The rescue and recovery missions that will take place over the weeks, months and years ahead will call on MIT faculty, students, staff and alumni to play a role in rebuilding the communities of Haiti.”

Chaplain to the Institute Robert Randolph announced that for those members of the community seeking support, MIT's chaplains would be available in the MIT Chapel (W15) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. each day through Feb. 1. The chapel is available for prayer at all times, he noted.

There are currently efforts in the works to tap the power of the MIT faculty in addressing this crisis. The MIT News Office will provide more details about this and all other aspects of MIT’s response to the Haitian crisis as they become available.

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