Shaw University Shuts Down For Semester After Tornado

Due to extensive damage from the tornado and storms that hit Raleigh on Saturday, Shaw University in downtown Raleigh will be closed for the rest of the semester, although graduation will proceed as planned  The campus in downtown Raleigh sustained heavy damage from Saturday’s storms.  Photos by The Raleigh Telegram.

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Shaw University Shuts Down For Semester After Tornado

 

By The Raleigh Telegram

Sunday, April 17, 2011

 

RALEIGH - Due to extensive damage from the tornado and storms that hit Raleigh on Saturday, Shaw University in downtown Raleigh will be closed for the rest of the semester, although graduation will proceed as planned.

 

The school made the announcement through its website today.

 

“While I knew that the situation was adverse during the evening, daylight has revealed that it will be impossible for us to safely conduct classes and return to business as usual,” said Dr. Irma McLaurin, President of Shaw University. “Thus, I have made the difficult decision of suspending classes for the remainder of the semester.”

 

The school said it would would officially close at noon today.

 

In the letter to students and faculty, Dr. McLaurin said that students would be graded for the semester on the work they had achieved thus far.

 

The school will still hold its graduation on time, said the university.

 

“Commencement will be held as planned on May 7 at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh,” said McLaurin.  Former Congressman Bob Etheridge will give the commencement speech.

 

Like many other areas in Raleigh, Shaw University sustained a lot of damage from the deadly storms that came through the city on Saturday afternoon.

 

On Saturday night after the storm had passed, as the power was out, emergency lights came on and students gathered out in the quad areas to survey the damage.

 

A set of bleachers had been thrown across the road and landed on top of a wooden fence at a private residence.

 

Benches, garbage cans, and other objects were hurled across the area, while several vehicles were damaged or had their windows broken by the storm on campus.

 

Windows in some of rooms in the high rise dormitories were broken and there was also glass on the ground.

 

According to the school, luckily no students, faculty, or staff were injured in the storm.

 

As of Saturday night at 11pm, emergency backup generators were brought into the area with large lights, although students have been sent home today as the power was still in many areas in Raleigh.

 

“I wish each and every one of you a safe passage home, and ask that you say a strong prayer of hope for Shaw University,” said President McLaurin.  “I am confident that this institution will return stronger and better than before. I look forward to seeing you each next semester.”

 

 

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