USM President: 'We will support WCU'

USM President: 'We will support WCU'

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett released a statement to the campus regarding the damage to William Carey University.

Bennett outlined how fortune the USM campus was, and sympathized with WCU.

"We are fortunate that there have been no reports of tornado-related injuries or damages on The University of Southern Mississippi's campuses following severe storms that impacted our communities this weekend," Bennett said in his statement.

Bennett said the university would do everything it could to support those at William Carey.

"Yesterday, I toured the devastation at William Carey University and met with that institution's leaders, including President Tommy King, in an effort to identify needs with which USM can assist," Bennett said. "We intend to be a strong partner to our sister institution and provide as much support and assistance as we can in the coming weeks."

Bennett alerted students that the university would be housing some displaced William Carey students at Hillcrest residence hall, and they will eat free of charge at the Fresh Food Company.

"I ask you to join me in welcoming these students as you see them on campus. Our goal is to create as seamless an experience as possible for these students who have been displaced through no fault of their own," Bennett said. "As we continue discussions with William Carey leadership in the coming days, their needs will become more apparent, and our role in assisting them may evolve."

Bennett also clarified that USM is not seeking to establish avenues for William Carey students to transfer. He just wants the campus to be open to coming up with new ideas to help support William Carey.

"I am proud to be part of a university and a community that remain resilient in the face of any challenge and come together in support of one another," said Bennett. "Let's get to work."

To read Bennett's full statement, click here.