Mayor sets goals for year ahead


The message from last Sunday’s ceremony marking the “One Year Anniversary of the Tornado” at William Carey University was “#careystronger.”

The university had been using the hashtag “careystrong” since an EF-3 tornado roared over the campus on the morning of Jan. 21, 2017, destroying or damaging every building on campus. No other university has suffered so much damage from a natural disaster.

WCU Provost Scott Hummel said every phase of the university was affected by the massive storm, which caused more than $100 million in damage.

“We lost every aspect of every department including the dormitories from the tornado,” he said. “It’s not just that the university is recovering back to where we were this time last year, but actually recovering bigger and better. The facilities are better. We have 42,000 more square feet than we had before the tornado.”

Hummel said during the service that the university persevered after the storm.

“Despite the facilities – and we certainly are proud of the facilities and proud that the facilities can be better than ever before – our athletes demonstrated that they played even better and even more focused,” he said. “It’s amazing to see that the university is stronger through the adversity and I think God receives the glory for that.”

The service was held at Bass Memorial Chapel last Sunday in the first event staged at that venue since the tornado. Six stained glass windows had not been installed behind the pulpit because the dimensions of the artwork were too small, WCU President Dr. Tommy King told them audience.

Other portions of the program included a Scripture Reading of Psalm 46 by Josh Britt, a performance by Allen Pote and the Carey Choralen of “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength,” student testimony of the storm by Cassidy Monk, expressions of gratitude by Dr. Lynne Houston, student testimony of the recovery by Lindsay Knight, “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” sung by Sparkle Polk and devotional message by Dr. Garry Breland.