Contributions Top $135,000 of $300,000 Goal for Match

Recent headlines about the danger of a catastrophic earthquake have added momentum to fund raising for seismic safety improvements. The Mark Ross Foundation provided a terrific boost with a $300,000 challenge grant to match an equal amount in gifts from alumni, corporations, and foundations. To date, over $135,000 has been raised, almost half of the sum needed to take full advantage of the matching grant.

According to Executive Director Joe Lurie, "The tragic earthquakes in Taiwan, Province of China, Mexico, and Turkey have made it quite clear that we must hasten preparations for the safety of the House in the event of a major quake. Substantial work has been completed. However, 130 resident rooms still need safety enhancements." This work, scheduled for May and June of 2000, involves encapsulation of hollow clay tiles in the walls and bracing of the walls to the structure. Without encapsulation, the wall tiles are a potential safety threat. The cost of this work is over $6,000 per room.

"I was very touched by notes from alumni who have made contributions recently," notes Lurie. One alumna said she "would forgo luxuries so that others would also have the I-House." And another simply said, "Please hurry before the next quake strikes!" Lurie adds, "The depth of support by alumni of all decades is very meaningful to me. Strong alumni support also helps us when we approach foundations and corporations." All gifts and grants for seismic safety renovations received before April 1, 2000, will be counted toward the Mark Ross Foundation challenge. For more information about supporting the renovations or about the challenge grant, please contact Joe Lurie.