Katrina Gives New Meaning to Portability of Online University

grantham university logoSeptember 9, 2005 – Grantham University, an online university with 8,000 students, maintained all operations throughout Hurricane Katrina and in her aftermath. While 80% of our buildings were destroyed by the hurricane, our business continued without interruption.

In addition to being an online university, the functional components required to run the institution, from the registrar’s office to student services and finance, like our coursework, are accessible anytime and anywhere Internet access is available. Adjunct faculty continued to provide academic support to our geographically dispersed student body while many Grantham employees worked from their temporary locations (hotel rooms and the homes of generous friends and family members) throughout the Southeast.

“As a result of the commitment and hard work of our staff, and the stability of our systems, Grantham was able to continue the vast majority of our services to 8,000 students uninterrupted, said Thomas M. Macon, Chairman and CEO of Grantham Education Corporation. “We are very concerned about the safety and well-being of employees who have not made contact with us since the hurricane. Our staff is a dedicated group of individuals who, despite being displaced from their homes, worked diligently to ensure that the needs of our students were met.

Students will notice interruptions in textbook delivery and proctor exam testing services which are dependent upon the U.S. Postal Service as delivery to the Slidell, Louisiana campus has been suspended by the Postal Service. You will receive textbooks directly from the publishers in two weeks. In the meantime, students who have immediate concerns should e-mail concerns@grantham.edu for assistance. Proctor exams should be faxed to 703.465.1273 for grading.

After evacuating the New Orleans area on jam packed highways for countless hours and ending up in a variety of locations from Texas to Georgia, a majority of essential Grantham employees and their families relocated to the Kansas City campus which opened for business on Tuesday, September 6, 2005. Within the next two weeks, the University expects many of its remaining employees to relocate to Kansas City or to the support facility in Arlington, VA.

“We care deeply about our employees and their families and we are doing everything that we can to ease the transition during this difficult time. Grantham is providing for temporary housing and living expenses, round trip airfare so that employees can return to Louisiana to take care of their homes, legal services, employment assistance for family members, assistance with insurance claims and much more, commented Macon. ” Kansas City has truly made us feel welcome; the community has opened their hearts by donating money, clothing, toys and food; by organizing dinners; by immediately enrolling our children in their schools; and by providing special gifts to our families like supplies to create photo albums of new memories as they re-build their lives.

Additionally, the Grantham Employee Hurricane Relief Fund has been established to provide cash assistance, food, clothing, counseling, and legal/insurance filing assistance to existing and former Grantham employees. Money in excess of that needed by current and former employees will be dedicated to recovery efforts in Grantham University’s local Louisiana communities.

Our thoughts are with everyone who has suffered losses due to Hurricane Katrina. Grantham is willing to work with students who would like to continue their coursework while their Louisiana university, college or institution recovers from the damages caused by the storm. Interested students should contact Grantham’s Admissions Departments by e-mail: admissions@grantham.edu.

Foundation Contributions:
Grantham Employees Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund
2101 Wilson Blvd, Suite 110
Arlington VA 22201