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President Email

Five years ago this week, the City of Tuscaloosa and The University of Alabama experienced a disaster unlike any other our city has experienced.

On April 27, 2011, an EF4 tornado tore through Tuscaloosa. That day 207 tornadoes touched down across the country, killing 319 people, in what was the largest tornado outbreak in U.S. history. Sixty-two of these tornadoes either began, moved through, or ended in Alabama, killing 238 people, including six of our students and one employee who had taken refuge off campus.

Incredibly, our campus escaped the tornado’s path. Then, and now, we remain proud of the way our city responded to this tragedy and how our students, faculty and staff pitched in to help with food, clothing, clean-up and general assistance.

Since that devastating day, the University has opened three tornado shelters on campus, and seven other shelters have opened throughout the city. Bustling retail developments and new housing have risen from the destruction, but we will never forget April 27, 2011.

As we pause to remember this historic day, we want to share this two-minute reflection of a day that will be etched in our hearts and minds forever.

In remembrance,

Stuart R. Bell