As Knights, we always take care of each other. That’s especially true in difficult times.

More than 20 of our students are from the Bahamas, and our hearts go out to them, their families and their communities. In addition, many of our faculty and staff have connections to these islands.

There are a number of ways to help those hurt by Hurricane Dorian, and I encourage you to support the Bahamas the way that seems best to you. You also can reach out to UCF Global or Student Government to learn more about local relief efforts. Other efforts are underway for any affected students and will be shared soon.

UCF was fortunately spared the worst of Hurricane Dorian. Our experience preparing for the storm made me very proud of our university’s response.

Katie and I applaud the professionalism of our emergency management and public safety teams. They prepared our campuses this past week and ensured everything is up and running today. We also saw firsthand the compassion of those from Housing and Residence Life who helped with ride-out locations for students.

UCF’s financial aid, student account services and finance and accounting teams worked throughout the closure, as well, to complete disbursements and refunds this week.

Our medical students volunteered in Seminole County shelters to care for people who had to leave their homes. There’s no better way to give back than when it’s needed most.

The Knights Helping Knights Pantry, which reopens today, provides free clothing, food, toiletries and other items to students, no questions asked.

If you purchased more food than needed to prepare for the storm, consider donating those items to Knights Pantry. You can drop off items at the pantry in Ferrell Commons, at the President’s Office in Millican Hall or in donation bins set up across campus, which can be found under “Maps” in the UCF Mobile App.

Storm closures are never easy, but I encourage our faculty to be flexible with students who heeded early warnings and chose to evacuate. Equally important, any student who has difficulty returning in time for Friday classes should contact their faculty member directly.

Times like these remind me of the many reasons why UCF is so special — and why our campus community truly is a family.

Charge On!