Centenary College Home Centenary News

News Service

2911 Centenary

Post Office
Box 4188


318 869-5120

318 841-7266


Contact: Lynn Stewart or Kelsey Johnson, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120 or 841-7265

Watch Monday for photos of the Dillard students' arrival on campus Sunday

Community Responds with Donations for Hurricane Evacuees from Dillard University at Centenary College

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Thanks to an outpouring of community support, Centenary College officials say they have collected enough pillows, blankets, clothing and toiletries to assist the hurricane evacuees from Dillard University in New Orleans – at least for now. Officials will reassess needs and issue an advisory on Monday for those who wish to help via monetary or other physical contributions.

Representativies of local churches and individuals began arriving at Centenary at noon Sunday after hearing reports that one of Dillard’s six chartered buses suffered a fire on the trip from New Orleans, burning the belongings and bedding items of some 37 evacuees. (None of the passengers on the bus was injured but all lost their luggage and items in the bus’s storage compartment.) Hundreds of local contributors brought pillows, blankets, toiletries, food items, games, clothing and money for the evacuees' needs.

Earlier in the day -- in the wee hours of the morning -- several members of the Centenary staff worked with local businesses and organizations (Wal-Mart-Bossier City, Willis Knighton, LSU Medical Center and the Caddo Sheriff’s Dept.) to prepare for the students' arrival and to solicit items for those aboard the burned bus. Some 200 Dillard students and staff fled New Orleans in the path of Hurricane Katrina. After a 12-hour trip, they arrived at Centenary at 5 a.m. Sunday and are being housed in the Centenary Gold Dome and the Centenary Fitness Center, with dining services available in Centenary’s north and south dining halls.

Centenary Chaplain Betsy Eaves is coordinating the donations on behalf of the evacuees, assisted by students and representatives of the offices of Student Life, Public Safety, Facilities Services, Church Relations, Alumni Relations and Public Relations. Rev. Eaves announced to the Dillard students that there will be a gathering in Brown Chapel at 7 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 28) with students who wish to sing and pray. “Come join us as we stand with the Dillard students and Centenary students who have concerns for family, friends and property in harm’s way during these anxious hours,” she said.

“The Shreveport community has been incredibly generous in support of the Dillard students. It is heartwarming to see the immediate response and the willingness to help that has been evident throughout the day,” said Lynn Stewart, director of public relations, about the public’s response to the call for help.

Said Nick Harris, vice president of business for Dillard, “The city, the churches, friends, alumni have all done a beautiful job. We will be forever grateful.”

For further information on Monday, contact the Chaplain’s Office at 318-869-5156 or the Centenary Office of Public Relations at 869-5120 or see the Centenary web site at www.centenary.edu.

- 30 -