A Connection with Sigma Alpha Epsilon!
The stormy weather which brought a barrage of tornadoes that struck the south in April, hit a chord with me because of the fraternity SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON which was started 155 years ago in TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA. Of all those locations in which tornadoes touched down in the south, Tuscaloosa was one of the most heavily hit. My connection was a blog I posted earlier this week about a son and father – Mark and his dad John – who had each joined this very fraternity, (although on other campuses), during their college days.
Where tornadoes touched down, people were killed, and buildings – homes, shopping centers, and businesses – were torn about and destroyed.
President Barack Obama called the devastation “beyond anything he had ever seen,” according to CNN U.S. Wire Staff.
The website of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa had this comment posted in attention-getting red on April 28, “All members are accounted for, despite the catastrophic damage from the suspected EF4 tornado which leveled the area of McFarland Blvd. and 15th Street, as well as much of Tuscaloosa, just blocks away from the University of Alabama campus and the fraternity house at 432 University Blvd. on Wednesday, April 27th. Please keep the greater UA family and our members in your thoughts and prayers.”
It was reported by Yahoo! News that “at least 281 people were killed across six states – more than more than two-thirds of them in Alabama” due to the tornadoes. Sadly, there also were students fromThe University of Alabama who lost their lives during an April 27, 2011, tornado. A page of memoriam is posted on the university’s website: http://www.ua.edu/weather/april-27-2011/in-memoriam/
On the university’s website, messages about the storm keep getting updated. On May 2, the report was that “UA continues to provide substantial support, time and resources for the recovery efforts of Tuscaloosa city and county. We are housing first responders and utility crews on campus; UAPD is working side-by-side with city and county law enforcement and emergency management agencies; we are providing staging areas for equipment and supplies needed in the recovery, as well as campus expertise and resources in a variety of initiatives and efforts vital to the recovery process; and we are coordinating campus and alumni relief efforts and volunteers for the impacted areas.”
Of course many others are helping out as well; several were indicated by the University of Alabama:
• American Red Cross – West Alabama Chapter
• American Red Cross – Give Blood
• United Way of West Alabama
• United Way of West Alabama – Ways to Help
• City of Tuscaloosa
The Alabama Book Store , which serves The University of Alabama, was closed for several days “due to power outage and staff trying to assist in the relief efforts.” Their website also stated, “Please continue to pray for Tuscaloosa and Alabama. Thanks so much for all the continued support and love, we really, really appreciate it. Please go to our Facebook page…for more information.”
It’s certainly going to take some time and lots of effort to get back to normal for those at the university, for the town of Tuscaloosa, the state of Alabama, and for other areas in the south that were hit by one or more tornadoes.
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More information about the violent storms in the south and efforts to help:
The University of Alabama http://www.ua.edu/weather/
Connect with Church Hill Classics
Blog Author: Lauren Miller