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Hurricane Florence

Dear NC State Community,

I hope each of you, your families and your loved ones are safe and secure as our state and region continue to feel the effects of Hurricane Florence.

While we are all thankful that NC State’s campus did not experience major impacts from the storm, we must remain mindful that many in our community are from areas across North Carolina that unfortunately experienced — and will continue to experience for some time — devastating damage.

Susan and I join many others from our NC State family in offering thoughts and prayers for all those who are dealing with great loss and destruction because of Florence.

As we begin to return to a sense of normalcy and focus on the work of the university this week, I want to recognize our dedicated NC State staff members who worked tirelessly over the last several days to ensure housing, food and safety for the more than 4,000 student residents who remained on campus. I also want to acknowledge the numerous employees who put in many extra hours working hard to clean up and prepare campus for the return of classes today.

Additionally, I would like to recognize many in our community who are selflessly providing help to colleagues on other UNC System campuses and to others throughout the state. Officers from the NC State Police Department volunteered to provide support and relief for the police at UNC Pembroke. NC State facilities crews are traveling to UNC Pembroke this week to assist with recovery efforts there and will be helping UNC Wilmington with damage assessment in the coming days. NC State Extension agents across the state are working around the clock to help farmers, ranchers and others in their communities impacted by the storm. These are just a few of many examples.

On behalf of the NC State community — a tremendous thank you. Times like these remind us how fortunate we are to have such caring, committed and outstanding individuals as part of the Wolfpack.

Due to flooding, road closures and other destruction, especially across the southeastern portions of the state, many students understandably cannot return to class this week. Provost Arden and I ask our faculty to be understanding and flexible in supporting these students. The Division of Academic and Student Affairs is working to contact students from the areas hardest hit by the storm to see what support they might need. Additionally, academic administration is working to accommodate and support students who might not be able to return to campus this semester.

Students who need assistance regarding courses or their return to NC State, have questions about attendance, are facing financial hardship due to the storm, or need other kinds of assistance should call the Wolfpack Response Line at 919-512-3272. Students can also review information about obtaining critical resources on the Pack Essentials page.

We know from experience that natural disasters can have many negative effects on families and individuals, including financial crisis. Fortunately, NC State’s Student Emergency Fund helps students recover from unexpected crises by providing the support and resources they need to stay in school. As our community looks for ways to help those affected by Florence, I encourage you to join me in directly supporting NC State students in need by donating to this important fund.

Additional ways of supporting those affected by the storm, on and off campus, are listed on the Supporting and Assisting After Hurricane Florence page.

Over the next few days, we will get a better sense of the current and ongoing impacts of Florence on the NC State community, both in Raleigh and across the state at our extension offices, 4-H camps and research stations. While we hope for the best, we know many of our students, faculty and staff are experiencing real hardships due to this violent storm and that our university and our state will be dealing with its effects for some time.

With that in mind, I ask that we all embrace our “Think and Do” philosophy by being mindful of what is going on in the lives of those around us, and that we act to support those who are struggling. I ask that we unite in the strength of the Pack to provide whatever help we can give to affected members of our NC State community, friends and colleagues across the UNC System, and others in need across our state.

Please check NC State’s home page in the days ahead to find updated information related to Hurricane Florence, to understand how our community is responding and to learn more about how you can help make a difference for those dramatically affected by this storm.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the NC State community.

Randy Woodson