Tag Archives: Tornado

Math Geek Mom: One Year Later

DSC_0110

by Rosemarie Emanuele, Mathematics Professor 

Economists are sometimes compared to meteorologists in that both sometimes try to predict upcoming events, and both manage to do an acceptable job at this, but occasionally make mistakes. Neither can predict future events with complete certainty, as unforseen events tend to have an effect on the outcomes they are trying to predict. For economists, it may be a change in consumer confidence in a far off country that injects “error” into a prediction, while for a meteorologist, small changes, sometimes described as a “butterfly moving its wings”, can cause their predications to be incorrect.

I found myself thinking of this as Ursuline College approaches the one year anniversary of a destructive meteorological event, the arrival of a tornado to campus. This was a tornado that destroyed our athletic center, damaged much of the campus and radically changed plans for the future of the college.

Read More

Rebuilding underway: reflecting on one year since the tornado

year_anniversary

By Kevin Gladstone, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Ursuline College

Just one year ago today, we were preparing for a long-awaited groundbreaking for the Center for the Creative and Healing Arts & Sciences.  All seemed to be right with the Ursuline College world:  funds had been raised, building designed, and our campus immersed in joyful anticipation of the coming school year.

Mother Nature had other plans. July 20, 2013 will live forever in the memory of those associated with Ursuline College.  Early that morning, in the blink of an eye, a tornado swept through our beautiful, tranquil campus and tore a hole in our heart.

Read More

Biology Department helps to restore stream banks on campus

P1040416

On Saturday (April 26) Ursuline students and faculty helped restore campus stream banks impacted by the tornado that hit the College last summer. The team planted a total of 15 trees, 100 shrubs and 700 live stakes provided by Chagrin River Watershed Partners

The new vegetation will prevent erosion and nutrient pollution from traveling to area streams and rivers that connect to the campus. The project was funded by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. 

Read More

Ursuline College reaches settlement with insurance company after tornado, launches largest project in over 40 Years

gym_web

Ursuline College has reached a $5.3 million settlement with the College’s insurance provider after the O’Brien Athletic Center was destroyed by a tornado that struck the campus last July. A new $10 million facility constructed to accommodate the needs of Ursuline’s 1,500 students and College community will replace the original athletic center, constructed as a recreational facility for a then student population of 400.

The new facility will host Ursuline’s 11 athletic programs, which had been accepted to NCAA Division II two weeks before the tornado. To supplement the cost of the new athletic center, a campaign to raise an additional $5 million is underway.

Read More

This is our “something”: Ursuline Arrows stride through season without their gym

gymAs members of the Arrows’ Volleyball team step up into a white cube van on a warm fall afternoon, carefully, one after the other, it is hard not to notice their lethargy. Hard practice, play and late night studying may contribute to the fatigue, but the root of their expression is travel.

At 3:45 a.m., July 20, 2013, Ursuline College felt the first disaster in its 142-year history – a tornado. The EF1 strength funnel swept through campus, causing the west wall of the O’Brien Athletic Center to collapse, disfiguring windows, its roofs, railings and doors and sending debris flying more than two miles away. More than 167 mature trees were snapped and twisted. Many more were left uprooted, their insides exposed.

Read More

Gym Gone but Spirit Isn’t

Greetings from room 110 of the Dauby Science Center, the lab turned makeshift office to 11 members of the Ursuline College athletic department after a tornado hit the College’s campus on July 20th. The 110 mile per hour winds caused an external wall of the Matthew J. O’Brien Athletic Center to collapse and destroyed part of the roof. Offices were packed up and sent to storage while the building is assessed to see if – or when – it’s safe to return.

The tornado came just eight days after the school received a final stamp of approval from the NCAA and was welcomed as an active Division II institution.

Much is still unknown. How much will insurance cover? When will the athletic facility begin to be re-built and what will it look like? Where we will practice on a day-to-day basis?

These questions have been discussed by the administration as they have worked around the clock while demonstrating tremendous leadership and resiliency. Hathaway Brown has already agreed to host the volleyball matches that were scheduled to take place in the O’Brien Center and only basketball needs a permanent home for games. Vans have been purchased to safely transport student-athletes to and from practice destinations and modular units are on the way to replace the offices and training room that are no longer functioning.

The rest of the answers will come. Maybe not as quickly as we would like, but the answers will come.

What we do know for certain is that we were lucky the tornado hit in the wee hours of a Saturday morning. Just 10 hours earlier, our campus was home to the Blue Streak All-Sports Camp and dozens of children were running around. We thank God that no one was harmed.

We know that eventually we will restore our campus and it will be a reminder of what we can do when we all come together. As is the case in athletics, a little bit of effort goes a very long way. We will get this building up and running again, piece by piece.

We know that we are being looked after. Many schools and community centers in the area have reached out to inquire about how they may help us get back on our feet.

We know that we are loved. The outpouring of support we received post-tornado has been very much appreciated. Perhaps not every single e-mail, text message, Tweet or voicemail expressing well-wishes was responded to, but the message was received and we are grateful for the support.

We know that people have an eye on Ursuline. Media outlets across the country published stories about the tornado damage and as a result, website traffic and social media hits have skyrocketed. People want to know what Ursuline is about.

What we are about is adapting to the times, making something out of nothing. The conditions are not ideal, but we will make this work. We will meet the challenges head on. We will do the best with what we have and take that principle with us in all that we do. We will not make excuses.

We are a place of higher learning, but now this community is about teaching as we will be an example of how to respond to adversity.

After the Lecture: Damage From the Wind

When I teach Calculus, I teach a section in which the area between two functions is calculated. Later, the volume between two three dimensional shapes is calculated using similar techniques. For example, one might take a cube and imagine the volume left if the shape if an ice cream “scoop” of a spherical shape is removed from one side of that cube. I found myself thinking of this particular problem last weekend when I looked at photographs of what had been, until last weekend, the gym at Ursuline College.

After a week of oppressive heat, a storm blew through our part of Ohio last weekend, bringing strong wind and heavy rain that flooded many basements on our street. As I reminded myself of the benefits of not having an actual basement in my split-level home, I discovered an e-mail from my dean talking about wind damage that was found throughout campus, damage that had blown off a wall of our gym. With images of branches blown around our own back yard, I assumed that there were such branches strewn about the campus, and that the problem could be taken care of by a few workers who would pick up the branches quickly and repair a wall to the gym, which I assumed was simply an outer façade that had been torn off. It was not until I received another note from her later that day talking about classes being cancelled for the weekend that I began to suspect that things were worse than I had imagined. But even that did not prepare me for the images on the nightly news of the damage that had been done to the campus by a tornado that had touched down in the midst of the storm. The wall that was torn from the gym was not an outer façade, but an entire wall that had crumbled after part of the roof had been lifted by the wind. The hardwood floors were open to the sun and rain, and basketball hoops swung in the wind. Much of the roof was gone, and what was left of the walls on either side of the gym looked like they had been damaged by a bomb.

Immediately after showing pictures of our idyllic campus contrasted with the damage done by the tornado, the news showed an interview with our president, Sister Diana Stano, who said the only good thing that could be said; “no one was injured.” It was amazing to realize that all that damage had been done and no one was hurt. Indeed, many of the college’s neighbors who had been touched by the tornado had escaped with less damage than could have occurred. Huge trees had been uprooted, but none of them harmed anyone in the homes they had stood near, and property damage was much less than one would have expected. Referring to our Roman Catholic roots, one woman on the news even said that she felt that the tornado had “picked up a prayer at Ursuline.” that had protected the neighborhood.

This was the first tornado that my daughter has had any direct personal knowledge of, and she was scared to hear that a tornado had struck so close to her own home. I cringed when I remembered that we told her only a few weeks ago that the tornados in Oklahoma were far away, and that she was safe here. Alas, she is starting to really realize that such promises made by her parents are not promises that can be kept. Scary things happen everywhere, and as she grows, she will become more aware of this truth.

As I have found myself doing many times in her short life, I held her extra tight that night when I wished her good night, and once again wished that I could protect her from all that is bad and scary in the world. As I did, I thought of the other parents whose children had not been so lucky; the parents of the children in a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, and those who sent their healthy children to school one day in Chardon, Ohio and in Newtown, Connecticut. And yes, I was reminded of the parents of Tryvon Martin in Florida, whose child would never come get to come home. I am once again reminded that, in parenting, there are many things beyond my control, and that there are limits to the degree that I can protect my daughter from all of the scary things that blow thorough this world.

This blog post was written by Rosemarie Emanuele, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics at Ursuline College.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/mama-phd/math-geek-mom-damage-wind#ixzz2bC3qktFo
Inside Higher Ed

The Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund

“Do not be discouraged and confused about the     future.  Even though troubles and anxieties will come, these sorrows     will pass into joy.  Hold this for certain, that you will never be     abandoned in your needs.”

-St. Angela Merici

 

Dear Alumnae & Friends of Ursuline College,

As many of you know, Ursuline’s campus was affected by a tornado in the early morning of July 20.  The College was incredibly blessed that there was neither loss of life or injury.  The O’Brien Athletic Center was hit the most severe damage, where the exterior wall of the gym collapsed.  Additional damage occurred to the Dauby Science Center and the Besse Library with minor damage to an entrance in Pilla and the Mullen roof.  A large number of mature trees were uprooted or destroyed and various other areas of campus were impacted.

I am grateful for the outpour of heartfelt messages, prayers and offers of  assistance.  Through your encouragement I feel the strength of the College community.  I believe that together we will rebuild our campus to an even more vibrant state.  Because of the confidence and support of each of you, Ursuline was able to get through this crisis with dignity and grace.  Ursuline is a small community, but the College has a mighty heart and spirit that not even a tornado can dampen.

The Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund has been set up to help in our rebuilding efforts.  If you would like to contribute to the fund through the College’s website visit Rebuilding Fund or send a check made out to Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund.  If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Gladstone, Ursuline’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement at kgladstone@ursuline.edu or 440 646 8355.

May God Bless You,

Sister Diana Stano, O.S.U., Ph. D. ’68