Classes Resume as Promised

Chancellor’s Message, September 28, 2004

I am pleased to announce that classes have resumed for Terms One and Two of the MD program with SGU faculty in facilities at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) in Old Westbury, New York. Lectures and laboratories began today, books have been distributed, and students are settling into temporary dormitory arrangements at the State University of New York at Old Westbury. The administration and staff of both NYCOM and SUNY/Old Westbury have been most kind and helpful during this transition.

Classes for the fourth term of the MD program are beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, September 29, at facilities in Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. Classes were delayed one day to allow the SGU students and faculty to arrive after Hurricane Jeanne closed down Barry University and Miami airport. Books are being distributed and the students are settling into nearby hotels rented by SGU for the duration of the term. Barry University President, Sr. Linda Bevilacqua, and the other administrators have generously given of their time and resources to SGU in its time of need and we are grateful.

Classes for all three years of the School of Veterinary Medicine who were displaced by hurricane Ivan will start the first week of October at three of our affiliated colleges of veterinary medicine: North Carolina State University, Purdue University, and Kansas State University. Our colleagues at these affiliated schools have been just wonderful in this very tough transition period, helping us to relocate with as little trouble as possible.

The University’s Arts and Sciences programs, Master of Public Health program, and the premedical and preveterinary programs are proceeding in Grenada on the True Blue campus. Over 200 students checked in today for the resumption of classes. The campus is swiftly being restored, since there was no major structural damage to the buildings. There is water, albeit intermittent, electricity from the campus generators, and one of the food stores close by is open for business. There is security on campus which is augmented by 200 of the Trinidadian Army using SGU’s campus as a basis of operations for the island. The faculty and staff have worked non-stop to make the campus suitable for learning even while rebuilding their own homes. The situation is not perfect as we repair our campus, but the island has rapidly begun rebuilding and the signs of progress become more apparent every day.

I am grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding during this time of turmoil and transition as we sought to ensure that SGU’s high academic standards would be maintained at temporary locations which could also provide housing for over 1,200 students.

It has been three weeks full of fear, sadness, loss, leadership, kindness and genuine goodness. Three weeks of uncertainty and anxiety for the students, faculty, administration, and staff. Three weeks of tireless effort by many administrators, staff, faculty and students to help pull off this miracle of massive relocation. We know that everything is not perfect; we know that there will be glitches; we know that mistakes will be made. But we also know that the very special mix of character, strength and fortitude that seems inherent in the students and faculty of St. George’s University is the reason that this miracle will work. I am proud to be a part of the SGU community and Grenada; this pride has never been greater than in the past three weeks.