Stonehill: Showing hospitality above and beyond the call of duty to a hurricane refugee

by We Love Stonehill on March 28, 2011

Maria Hossain - Stonehill College - Class of 2009On move-in day at Tulane University in August 2005, all of my freshman plans were abruptly disrupted when we were asked to evacuate the campus because Hurricane Katrina was approaching. Being from Florida, my family and I didn’t think much of a hurricane approaching, but we all know now how wrong we are. We luckily escaped with our lives and when I was faced with the dilemma of what to do for my freshman year since Tulane would not be open for students for at least a semester, a small school in Easton, MA offered to take me in.

That school was Stonehill. I had never been to New England, but had always dreamed of going. Stonehill offered to let me pay my tuition to Tulane, as planned, to help revitalize their decimated campus. They offered me housing and a meal plan free of charge and with that, my parents and I flew up to Boston. The Dean personally met with us and helped me plan my schedule and I was placed in a renovated study lounge with 3 other girls in Corr.

I cannot even begin to describe the kindness that was shown to me at Stonehill. Since I lived in Florida, I did not have any cold weather clothing and the church choir director on campus, Ms. Gannon, called me into her office one day and gave me a new winter coat. Just the memory of how incredibly nice that was still brings tears to my eyes.

I made some wonderful friends and I loved the feeling of being able to walk through the cafeteria with my tray and always find at least one familiar face to sit with. The campus was absolutely beautiful and my roommates and I would happily go around taking pictures of it each season.

My days at Stonehill also launched me on an impressive academic career. After a year at Stonehill, I transferred to Washington University in St. Louis and I am now half way through law school. While my days at Stonehill seem so long ago, I still keep up with the true friends I made there and I will always, always deeply appreciate everything Stonehill and the people there did for me all those years ago.

-Maria Hossain, Class of 2009

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