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Katrina: From Disaster to Renewal

Saturday, December 3, 2005
Sayles Hall, the College Green
Brown University

The Disaster

12:30–1:30 p.m.      Katrina from the Perspective of Emergency Responders

Curt Varone

Assistant Chief, Providence Fire Department
Rhode Island Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team
Assistant Chief Varone led the USAR team on a two-week mission to Mississippi.

David Sayles

Chief, Westerly Fire Department
Westerly Decontamination Team
Chief Sayles led a DECON team on a two-week mission to Louisiana.

Richard Gould

Professor of Anthropology, Brown University
Professor Gould assisted the federal Disaster Mortuary Operations Recovery Team with victim identifications in Mississippi and aided in victim recoveries in New Orleans.

Sue Stenhouse

Community Relations, Office of the Governor
Stenhouse helped assemble the first response team and organized evacuee relocations as part of Rhode Island’s response to the disaster.  

1:30–2:30 p.m.        Reporting on Katrina

Peter Kovacs ’78

Stephanie Grace ’87

As managing editor and columnist, respectively, for the New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune, Kovacs and Grace were among the staffers who kept the daily newspaper going during and after Katrina.


Challenges Going Forward

2:45 – 3:45            Conversation with Two Presidents  

Ruth J. Simmons

President, Brown University

Marvalene Hughes

President, Dillard University (New Orleans)
The university presidents discuss the immense challenges facing Dillard University and other Gulf-state colleges and universities devastated by the hurricane, as well as opportunities for collaboration and innovation going forward.


Interpretations of Events

4–5 p.m.       Poetry Reading and Book Signing 

Brenda Marie Osbey

Poet Laureate of Louisiana


Quiet Reflections

5:15–6:00 p.m.        Luminarias Vigil on the Green
Gather for a moment of reflection among luminarias, each representing a donation of $5 in support of Gulf Coast renewal efforts. (Luminaria donations may be made on November 29-30 and December 2 in the Faunce Post Office and on December 2–3 in the Sayles Hall lobby.) Hot chocolate and cider provided.           

Light refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon.