MC

Mississippi College

MC Seeks $20,000 for Union University Disaster Relief

March 4, 2008

Mississippi College will raise money at a rummage sale, pass the plate at chapel services and fill buckets at sporting events to pump up disaster relief funds for Union University.

By this spring, MC leaders hope to donate at least $20,000 to help with recovery efforts for its sister Baptist institution in Jackson, Tenn.

MC President Lee Royce today encouraged staff members and others to pitch in as the school announced a new campaign to support Union University.

Among other things: MC staffers plan to collect items for the giant garage sale April 5 in the Baptist Healthplex parking lot. Adding to it, dollars were collected at chapel services this morning at Provine Chapel. Recently, the MC volleyball team raised $600 in donations. Other Choctaws athletes are joining the cause. A student group is hosting an all-night dance-a-thon later this week to raise cash. Other events to assist Union are in the planning stages at the Christian university.

Mississippi College, Royce noted, was truly blessed to escape damage from Monday's severe weather skipping across the Magnolia State. There were tornadoes, strong winds, and heavy thunderstorms, but Mississippi escaped with few injuries and, for the most part, damage was minimal.

That wasn't the case Feb. 5 at Union University. The school is trying to cope with the loss of residence halls, damage to other facilities and the destruction of 1,000 cars due to the powerful storm. "It is a pretty significant loss," Royce told the staff at their monthly meeting at Swor Auditorium.

The Tennessee institution is struggling after a tornado slammed into the campus and left an estimated $40 million in damages. It destroyed about 70 percent of the student housing and slammed into other buildings on campus. Fifty-one Union students were taken to the hospital, but fortunately no lives were lost. The Union tornado was part of a severe weather system that day killing 54 people in four states.

Since the heavy destruction on campus, Union University has received an extraordinary amount of help from churches, colleges, businesses, alumni, private citizens and others, said Tim Ellsworth, director of news and media relations at the Tennessee school.

"The support we are getting from everywhere - from individuals, churches, and colleges has been overwhelming," Ellsworth said by phone today. "The outpouring of support from colleges is just remarkable. We are so touched by the generosity from MC and others. They are stepping up to help us in our time of need."

Ellsworth said people are sending money, clothing, gift cards to students, textbooks and other items. The dollars are going to the Union University Disaster Relief Fund. Last month, Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page urged Southern Baptist churches to give generously to Union University on the day he toured the campus.

MC joins such institutions as Belmont University in Nashville, Criswell College in Texas and Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota that have reached out to Union.

At 4,600-student Mississippi College, Cam Armstrong, the coordinator of student activities and Choctaws volleyball coach Peter Cosimano are heading up the spring rummage sale at the Baptist Healthplex. It's part of a six-week campaign by MC groups to raise $10,000 so the university can match it and present Union a $20,000 check, she said. For details, contact Armstrong at 601-925-3830 or Cosimano at 601-925-3357.

Other groups getting involved, include the student organization Shawreth that expects to host a dance-a-thon on the Clinton campus Friday March 7.From the Baptist Student Union to Choctaws athletic teams and announcers at the radio station, STAR 93.5, MC's family is rallying support for Union's cause.