Update on Nashville Tornadoes

Black and white image of Bell Tower

March 3, 2020
5:50 p.m.

Update from Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher: 
Students, Faculty and Staff,
Throughout the day, as the extent of storm damage and the associated impact to our students, faculty and staff and others in our community have been revealed, I’m reminded of how much our community cares for those in need. Thank you to everyone who has been helping or offering to help organize our assessment and response in the wake of this tragedy.
Here’s what we know so far about students, faculty and staff:
  • We have identified five students and two employees who have been displaced from their homes as a result of tornado damage. We are working with these individuals to provide support resources necessary to see them through this challenging time.
  • Many others have experienced damage to their homes but are not displaced; are without power; are trapped in areas of the city due to closed roads; or are otherwise negatively impacted by these storms. Belmont is seeking ways to support these individuals as well.
  • At Watkins College of Art, the campus lost power as a result of the storms, leaving 50-55 residential students in need at least until Monday. Arrangements are being made to welcome those students in open residential spaces at Belmont immediately and until their residence is back online.
As a reminder, if you or your family were adversely affected by this storm, please let us know so we can attempt to provide necessary support:
  • Students, should contact Office of Student Life at 615-460-6407 or by email at deanofstudents@belmont.edu.
  • Faculty and Staff should contact the Offic​e of Human Resources at 615-460-6456 or by email at hr@belmont.edu.
Because we know many in our community are seeking ways to offer their personal support, we have set up a website to provide options and avenues. 
  • Hands-on service work can be done individually or as an organized group through Hands on Nashville, the nonprofit that works closely with the city of Nashville and Office of Emergency Management to coordinate volunteer efforts.
  • Financial donations are encouraged through the Community Foundation’s Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund or through The Salvation Army.
  • In-kind donations are being collected by University Ministries and will be distributed throughout the community as specific needs are identified.
Please visit this link for more information: http://www.belmont.edu/belmont-responds/
Finally, University Ministries is hosting a time of prayer for our city and the storm victims tonight from 7-7:30 p.m. at the Bell Tower. All are welcome.
Galatians 6:2 encourages us to “bear one another’s burdens,” and our hope is to provide comfort and support to our neighbors. Thank you for everything you are doing to support Middle Tennessee’s recovery efforts and bear the burdens of those around us in need.
Bob Fisher

10 a.m.

Belmont classes and programming are proceeding as scheduled today, but University officials will be understanding regarding student and employee absences caused by the storm. Use your discretion regarding commuting to campus and be safe! Students and employees are encouraged to contact their faculty and/or supervisor to let them know individual situations.

9:30 a.m.

Early this morning a tornado along with severe thunderstorms caused significant destruction throughout some sections of Middle Tennessee with key areas receiving damage including North Nashville, Germantown, East Nashville, Donelson and Mt. Juliet. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone today who was impacted, particularly Belmont students or employees and their families. We are continuing to assess the needs of the University community in light of the storm’s impact. Gratefully, Belmont’s campus did not receive any damage from the storm, and the University has retained power.

Students, if you or your family, were adversely affected by this storm, please reach out to the Office of Student Life at 615-460-6407 or by email at deanofstudents@belmont.edu. Whether or not you have experienced personal loss, we know that a tragedy like this can cause emotional stress. We strongly encourage students feeling overwhelmed or anxious to utilize Belmont’s Counseling Services: visit www.belmont.edu/counseling/ or call 615-460-6856.

Faculty and staff, Belmont also offers resources for employees who have been impacted by this storm. Please contact the Office of Human Resources (615-460-6456) to learn more about the Employee Assistance Program that’s available to you. The Employee Assistance Program can also be reached directly at 888-293-6948—just indicate you are a Belmont University employee.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those who are suffering. We wish everyone safety and peace as we face the aftermath of this situation as One Belmont.