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Message to Campus Community
Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader sent the following message to faculty, staff and students following the fire on the roof of Emerson Hall on Dec. 8, 2016.
December 12, 2016
The days following the fire on the roof of Emerson Hall have been trying for our entire campus community – but all of us have pulled together in a spirit of cooperation to minimize the damage, ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff, and keep campus operations running smoothly despite the need to evacuate Emerson Hall and shut off power to several buildings.
I thank you all for rising to the challenges this situation presented. During the earliest moments of the fire, physical facilities staff assisted first responders by providing quick and ready access to the building. Department Chair Daryl Beetner and his faculty and staff reacted quickly to assist in the evacuation of Emerson Hall. The registrar’s staff immediately went to work to relocate classes and final exams, with the aid, cooperation and support of so many academic and administrative units. In true Miner spirit, the Miner Alumni Association opened Hasselmann Alumni House to our students as one of several new locations for final exams. University Police and numerous first responder agencies brought the situation under control quickly, our marketing and communications staff got the word out to our campus community and the news media in timely fashion, and our IT staff is making computers and other technology available to faculty and staff displaced by the fire.
Our students, too, rose to the occasion. I’ve learned that one sorority brought cookies and hot chocolate to the first responders. Local businesses and churches offered to provide rooms for classes and exams.
Each of these examples, and countless others, remind me once again that Missouri S&T is a special place, and that Rolla is one of the most welcoming communities I’ve ever experienced. We are indeed fortunate to call Rolla our home – as individuals, as a university and as a community that helps each other out.
As we begin this finals week, I ask for your patience as we continue to address the continuing challenges we face. When I, along with Provost Robert Marley, Vice Chancellor Walt Branson and several others, inspected Emerson Hall on Friday, we saw how fortunate we were that damage was contained. But we also realized that it will take some time before Emerson Hall is fully ready for occupancy. As a university community, we will continue to support one another and work diligently to restore Emerson Hall and to get things back to normal.
Cheryl B. Schrader, Ph.D.