The Los Angeles-based Adelson Family Foundation presented a US$1.9 million (15.3 million patacas) ceremonial cheque Tuesday to the Roman Catholic University of Saint Joseph (USJ) to assist its recovery efforts after Typhoon Hato and subsequent floods caused major damage to its new campus in August and September last year.
According to a statement by Hong Kong-listed gaming operator Sands China, executives from Las Vegas Sands and Sands China presented the cheque to USJ Rector Fr Peter Stilwell on behalf of the Adelson Family Foundation founders, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, on the campus in Ilha Verde district.
During the visit to the campus, the executives toured the damaged areas that will be restored with the help of the donation, the statement said.
The statement quoted the Adelsons as saying that “when we heard about the extensive damage to Macau as a result of Typhoon Hato, our hearts immediately went out to all of the people impacted by it.
The university, like much of the city, sustained significant damage when Typhoon Hato struck Macao on 23 August.
Despite this unexpected setback, the move went well, much to the delight of rector Peter Stilwell: “I want to congratulate the staff on their logistics. The classes opened on schedule on 18 September, and the classrooms, main library facilities, and online resources were all working.”
These successes stand in stark contrast to the damage that remains. The storm proved especially devastating for the library of the Macau Ricci Institute (MRI).
The MRI library, previously housed in a leased building close to Tap Seac Square, moved its collection in response to a government request to return the building.
The collection of approximately 25,000 volumes, temporarily housed in the basement of the new USJ site, was destroyed when flood waters filled the low-lying space.
The university is prepared to help MRI reconstitute the collection and host it in the USJ library, should the institute wish to follow the previous agreement to integrate the two collections while MRI retains its rights as owners.
The USJ library can also provide professional expertise difficult for the institute to secure on its own.