This morning I am incredibly grateful for God’s protection over our SEU community and Lakeland campus as we weathered Hurricane Ian. It’s during times like this that our faith is strengthened and we are truly reminded of what’s most important to us – the safety and well-being of our families and friends.
Although Central Florida was spared from significant damage, the southwest portions of Florida where we have several extension site campuses are currently enduring mass devastation due to the effects of the storm. We are assessing impact to our sites at Next Level Church, Christian Life Fellowship, Cape Assembly, Cape Christian, Grow Church, Bayside and Church of Hope. Please keep these churches in your prayers as they serve their communities in the days ahead. Our hearts break for the loss so many are currently facing. We are also continuing to pray for the many still weathering and affected by the hurricane as it passes up the East Coast.
First and foremost, I hope that this email finds each one of you and your families safe. If there are needs in our community, we want to know about them and find a way to meet them.
The storm passed through Lakeland late yesterday as a Category 1 hurricane, and the campus never lost power. I am pleased to report that all students and staff who were being sheltered on the Southeastern University campus are safe and will continue to shelter in place until the Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) has determined that it is safe to leave the ride-out location. At this time, the team has done a preliminary assessment of our campus and has not found any significant damage. A more thorough assessment will be conducted throughout the day.
I also want to express my deep thanks and gratitude to the many, many individuals in our community who worked in preparation not only before the storm, but through the midst of the storm, putting the needs of our students before their own – a beautiful example of Christ’s love in action.
In particular, I would like to recognize our Facilities team who prepared our campus to mitigate damages and who are currently working to assess damages and make repairs, the Student Development team who worked hand in hand with our Safety and Security team to plan for the safety of more than 150 who remained on campus throughout Ian, and the Chartwells team for providing essential food preparations during the storm. We are blessed with an incredible community here at SEU.
We are grateful for all of the prayers and support we have received from all over the country. Please continue to pray with us in the days to come as the state of Florida continues to recover from Hurricane Ian.
It is my prayer that God will continue to keep His hand upon our community.