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Posted May 5, 2008

Updated May 6, 2008

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell University President Brian C. Mitchell issued the following statement on the massive cyclone that killed thousands in Burma this month: 

Dear Bucknellians,

A massive cyclone hit the southeast Asian country of Burma (Myanmar), killing more than 10,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands more without water or shelter. International relief agencies are trying to provide assistance but must work through a military government that has oppressed its people and severed many ties with the outside world. Given Bucknell University’s historic relationship with Burma, I am asking the University to join me in expressing compassion and concern for its people and offering our support during its recovery.

This year, Bucknell is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Maung Shaw Loo, Bucknell’s first international student and the first student from Burma to enroll in a U.S. university. Our relationship dates back even further, to Eugenio Kinkaid, a founding trustee and fundraiser for the university, who was also a Baptist missionary in Burma. The Burma-Bucknell tie has continued through the decades with a number of students from Burma graduating from Bucknell. Six Burmese students are currently enrolled in the first-year through senior classes, and one new student will join us in the fall. We have reached out to them and their families and will continue to do so. (Learn more about the connections between Burma and Bucknell.)
On behalf of the University, I am asking that we observe a moment of silence Tuesday, May 6, at 10 a.m. to express our deep concern for the students’ families, as well as for our many alumni and friends in Burma and those with ties to the country. It is our hope that the military government will allow international aid agencies to enter Burma and provide much-needed assistance. You may learn more about this crisis and make donations directly to the victims of the cyclone at this site set up by the U.S. Campaign for Burma.

Thank you.


Brian C. Mitchell

Contact: Division of Communications