Niagara signs agreement to aid Haiti

by | Sep 26, 2014 | Vincentian Family

NU HaitiNiagara University signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday with a Haiti-based humanitarian organization founded by an NU alumnus.

The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara president, and Ed Brennan, ’78, inked the agreement during Vincentian Heritage Week, the university’s annual celebration of its heritage.

Brennan founded Hand in Hand for Haiti as a means of helping Haitians recover from the devastating earthquake that struck the nation in January 2010. The retired chairman of DFS group, Brennan generated extraordinary monetary support for the endeavor from the travel retail industry, the fruits of which largely went toward constructing a world-class educational facility.

Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable opened its doors Oct. 3, 2011.

In August, Father Maher and a group of NU administrators visited the school to determine ways that the university could advance its relationship with the institution in St. Marc. Tuesday’s MOU signing marked the fruitful partnership in which NU pledges to provide service, research and educational opportunities that support the comprehensive development and operation of Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable.

“Niagara University celebrates the Vincentian commitment of Ed and Debbie Brennan, through Hand in Hand for Haiti, to the poor, educating the whole person, social responsibility, sustainable development and management,” stated Father Maher. “Like the Brennans, we strongly believe that education is vital to the growth and long-term recovery of Haiti and essential to the spirit of its people. We are in agreement that the partnership represents a congruence of mission that is mutually beneficial, impactful and sustainable over time.”

For more on Hand in Hand for Haiti, go to

See also Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative VFHI

To learn about the mission of Niagara University, please visit