The envelope from Mercer University School of Medicine started making waves as soon as it hit the makeshift mail room at the Tulane University temporary headquarters in Houston.
Inside were several checks totaling $225, representing cash and other collections by students at Mercer who wanted Tulane medical students to know they cared, student to student.
The ripples from their heartfelt dollars made a big impact with Tulane employees who are working relentlessly toward the January reopening of the university.
"Our prayers and best wishes are with you daily as you struggle to regain normalcy," said the letter from Linda R. Adkison, Mercer professor in both genetics and obstetrics and gynecology. "Please use this money in any way you feel appropriate for your students."
As it turns out, the Hurricane Katrina disaster hit home to many at Mercer's medical school, where ties to Tulane are common. "Mercer has a large Tulane contingent," said Adkison, who was in a Tulane Ph.D. program in microbiology for two years in the 1980s.
Even though medical students typically don't have much money to spare, they wanted to donate because "it seemed like the thing we needed to do," she added. "There might be more coming."
Adkison thinks students at other schools will want to do the same. "Any student in trouble anywhere would help their fellow students," she added. "It's not much, but we felt if we even bought ice cream at the end of the day, it's a little bit of help."