JACKSON, Tenn. – Dec. 13, 2002 – With finals complete and signifying the end of another busy semester at Union University and the majority of students already home with their families and loved ones for the Christmas holidays, faculty and staff are winding down the fall semester – a busy semester that took an abrupt and unexpected turn in November, when an F1 tornado hit the campus, leaving $1.75 million in damages but miraculously, no injuries.
While significant progress was made from an organized day of cleanup immediately following the storm, in which volunteers – faculty, staff, students, and members of the community including the TBC Disaster Relief Group – poured immeasurable energy and hours into picking up the campus, much remains to be done in order to restore the campus to where it was before the tornado.
“We are still waiting to hear from our insurance on what we will receive towards the estimated damages,” said Union President David S. Dockery. “There are still several things to be completed – more repairs of doors and windows, some roof work left to do, and the replacing of light poles and signs – but we are grateful that many of the damages our students incurred with their vehicles have been taken care. Most were able to use their own personal insurance while others have been helped by FEMA. Contributions have also come in for a student fund that has helped in some cases.”
A community-wide luncheon was held Friday, Dec. 6, thanking various companies, organizations and individuals who came to help with the cleanup effort. One of the students who witnessed the storm told his story to those in attendance, and remarked on how much the outpouring of help from the community had meant to him and his fellow students.
A poster commemorating the damage and cleanup effort has been designed by Union art director Todd Mullins, with printing courtesy of a local printing company that is free to anyone who makes a request for it.
“We have had so many people give of their time, resources and materials,” said Dockery. “It has been an incredible thing to behold. We have seen the best of this community and it is so very heartening for all of us at Union University. The Union family is indeed most grateful at this Christmas season.”
Sara B. Horn,