Office of the President

March 18, 2011

Responding to the disasters in Japan


Dear Members of the UW Community:

The widespread devastation wrought by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has deeply touched and saddened our UW community. Our hearts go out to the people of Japan as they grapple with the aftermath of these tragic events.

Fortunately, all UW students and faculty who were in Japan when the earthquake struck on March 11 have been accounted for and are unharmed. Since then, on March 16, the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Warning for Japan, strongly urging U.S. citizens to defer travel to Japan and those in Japan to consider departing. The UW Office of Global Affairs has cancelled all International Programs and Exchanges programs in Japan effective immediately and is working to assist the 17 UW students who are still in Japan to depart.

While we are relieved that our students and faculty who were in Japan when the earthquake occurred are safe, we are also mindful that there is a staggering number of people who are not. Thousands of lives have been lost, and thousands of others are injured, homeless, or missing. The nuclear crisis has added even more anxiety and urgency to what was already an all but unfathomable situation. We have more than 200 students from Japan, and it is hard to imagine how much concern they in particular must feel for their family, friends, and loved ones in their home country.

Many of you have inquired about ways in which you can help the international relief efforts being mounted in Japan. I hope you will take a moment to view this list of organizations that are accepting donations for disaster relief and contribute in any way you can to help those in need.

We will continue to update you on news about the disaster in Japan and its effects on our UW community.


Image of Phyllis Wise's signature

Phyllis M. Wise
Interim President