Hurricane Florence Inspires the Davidson Community


Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Byron McCrae offers his thoughts on the Davidson community and its response to Hurricane Florence.

When I welcomed first year students last year, I told them Davidson College was a community like no other. I see proof of this every week at Davidson and saw proof again recently as the campus community collectively rallied in response to Tropical Storm Florence.

Hurricane Florence Campus CleanUpRepresentatives from campus police, physical plant, dining, residence life, student health and several other campus offices quickly organized daily meetings to ensure we were prepared for the full brunt of a hurricane. They swiftly determined we would be able to feed students and keep them safely sheltered even if we experienced power outages. And while our focus was on ensuring the safety of our students, many of our students were thinking about college staff, like our dining hall employees and the physical plant team. I received messages from concerned students who care about the safety of the committed individuals who work every day to make Davidson an amazing place to live, study and learn.

And they are just as concerned about others on the coast and in local communities who were directly impacted by the hurricane. Within days of the storm, student leaders at Davidson’s Center for Civic Engagement organized a meeting to discuss disaster relief efforts locally as well as throughout the Carolinas. Students, faculty and staff helped our physical plant team clean up our campus and joined local community members as they repaired the Davidson Community Garden.

Hurricane Florence Campus CleanUpOver the last two weeks, the Center for Civic Engagement also hosted a supply drive benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank’s hurricane relief efforts. The Davidson community came together to support our coastal neighbors recover from Hurricane Florence. Cases of water, cans and bundles of food and cleaning supplies came in by the boxes.

I believe this thoughtfulness makes Davidson special.

This thoughtfulness gives me hope that we can meet other challenges and solve other problems together, as collaborators and partners. We won’t always agree, on the solution or sometimes even the problem, and at times we may make mistakes. But with the Statement of Purpose as an inspiration, I am committed, and the entire student life team is committed, to always do better and to become our best. We seek excellence, not an unattainable perfection. I’m grateful I work at a college where everyone – students, staff and faculty, and also alumni and families – share our inspiration and commitment.


About Author

Byron McCrae is Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. He works with the other Student Life deans and the Student Life staff, and with students, faculty and staff across campus to promote student development and success. Byron chairs the Watson Fellowship selection committee, the Council on Campus Life and Religious Life, and the Student Conduct Council, and he also serves as advisor to the Honor Council.

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