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Katrina Aftermath: A Flood of Books

In October, Yale Divinity School students, faculty, staff and alumni shipped 17 boxes of books—586.5 pounds in all—to pastors in the Gulfport, MS area who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The project grew out of an online friendship between Director of Career Counseling Susan Olson '93 M.Div. and the Rev. Sally-Lodge Teel of Ruth Memorial Presbyterian Church in Poplarville, MS.

After hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulfport area, Teel passed word along to Olson that a great number of her clergy friends had lost all or most of their prized theological libraries. Teel reported distressing scenes such as pastors raking ruined commentaries and copies of Barth's Church Dogmatics into the piles of debris.

Olson sent out an urgent appeal to the wider YDS community and began collecting books that were delivered in response to her plea. Students dropped off books; faculty, staff and alumni cleaned their shelves; and Marianne Mapes '53 donated the bulk of the library of her late husband, Richard Mapes '49 B.A., '52 B.D.

In addition to the 17 boxes of books shipped to Gulfport from Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, the publisher HarperCollins sent nine donated boxes of commentaries and dictionaries directly to Teel. That was arranged with the help of Judith Dupré '07 M.A.R., author of a book on landmark Christian houses of worship published by HarperCollins. Teel is distributing the HarperCollins books among 35 pastors of various denominations.

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