Southern Miss accommodating Carey medical students, offers nursing building after tornado

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - After William Carey University received one of the worst hits by a deadly E-F3 tornado last Saturday students and faculties were displaced.

The tornado damaged almost all of its buildings and delayed some courses, it even moved all of its on site class sessions online. Although the tornado damaged the campus, the community is coming together to accommodate the Crusaders.

It did not take long at all for the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) to lend a helping hand to their sister institution only a few miles down the highway.

USM Assistant Provost Debbie Hill said, “They would help us in our time of need, we had been through this with the tornado that hit our campus.”

Around 400 medical students in the School of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey will resume their courses at Southern Miss' old nursing school building.

Carey student Kelsey Murry said, “Obviously when the tornado hit we were all confused we did not know if we were medical students still or what.”

“I thought that we may not finish out the year, or we may just have to come back during the summer, we really didn’t know what to think" said student Tessa Cucurullo.

William Carey salvaged what was left and brought it to Southern Miss to rebuild a temporary home. Fortunately since the tornado medical students only missed two lectures.

Professor Dr. Robert Johnson said, “It is very important that we have a smooth transition for these students, there have been other disasters that we have been part of, such as, Katrina, in New Orleans, and that was extremely disruptive."

"This disaster has been really smooth, and the faculty has been close, and we are able to get these students back on track pretty quickly" said Dr. Johnson.

Dr. James Turner Dean of College for Osteopathic Medicine at WCU drove to campus the day the twister hit, he said he was at a loss for words when he saw the damage, but even more shock when all 4 of its medical student buildings were destroyed.

“We are being treated like a family member who is asked to come to your home, with the same respect and dignity and love that you would give to a family member who had lost their home" said Dr. Turner.

Although the entire Carey body may have been confused and seem lost after the tornado, they are thankful for the Golden Eagles' helping hand.

"It is really nice to have Dr. Bennett and the administration and faculty here at USM to allow us to resume our education" said Carey student Joseph Peoples.

"Hopefully we will be able to give back to the community in the future" Peoples added.

To make a donation to WCU you can click here.

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