Union University, a four-year, liberal arts institution in Jackson, Tenn., was heavily damaged by a powerful tornado on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 6. According to media reports, several buildings on the campus were completely destroyed while many others received damage. A university spokesman said that nine students were hospitalized overnight with serious injuries, but that there were believed to be no life-threatening injuries.
This sad news comes almost 10 years after a tornado ripped through St. Peter and the Gustavus Adolphus College campus on March 29, 1998. That storm knocked out a majority of the windows on campus, uprooted hundreds of trees, caused significant damage to every building on campus, and forced the college to cancel classes for three weeks. Gustavus administrators are attempting to contact colleagues at Union University today to offer support and assistance.
“Our thoughts and prayers today are with the students, staff, alumni, and families with ties to Union University,” Gustavus President James Peterson said. “While this will be a trying time for their community, we know first-hand that you can rebuild from a tragedy like this.”
Ray Thrower, Gustavus director of safety and security and president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) said that efforts are being made to communicate with Union University officials.
“We will be reaching out and letting them know that our association members are available to assist them in anyway that we can,” Thrower said. “The thoughts and prayers of everybody associated with IACLEA are with the Union University community.”
Union University is a private university affiliated with the Baptist church. Located approximately 90 miles east of Memphis, Union has about 3,100 undergraduate students.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin