An open letter from President David Dockery to the friends and family of Union University:
Dear parents and friends of Union University:
At 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, the Union University campus was devastated by serious tornadic activity, resulting in extensive damage to the facilities. Following a nearly five-hour emergency effort, all students — including the 13 who were trapped in the fallen rubble — were rescued. Fifty-one students were taken to the hospital, nine of whom suffered serious injury. By God’s providence, no lives were lost.
Seventeen buildings received some kind of damage. Approximately 40 percent of the dorms were destroyed, and another 40 percent were severely damaged. Additional damage has been observed in other academic and administrative buildings. The damage from this storm exceeds the impact of the 2002 tornado by 15-fold.
Classes will not begin again before Feb. 18. We encourage all Union friends to stay in touch with us through the Union Web site at http://www.uu.edu.
We currently are working on a five-fold strategy:
1. Today is a day of assessment.
2. Initial efforts to help students return to their homes or to a safe place also have started today and will continue throughout the week.
3. A major clean-up project will start on Thursday.
4. An intermediate strategy to help us begin classes on Feb. 18 is underway.
5. Plans to regroup and rebuild the campus will help focus us for the future. The rebuilding efforts will be lengthy and extensive.
At this time, we want to thank everyone who has given help, provided service and offered ongoing prayer on behalf of Union University. We thank God for His providential care. With the help of God, we will move forward together.
Finally, I want to offer highest commendations for our students and the Student Life Team, who have handled this challenge in amazing ways. For your friendship, your support and your ongoing prayers for Union, we are most grateful.
David S. Dockery