HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Since the EF-3 tornado landed last year, William Carey University has spent the entire year working to rebuild their campus.
"The feeling that we couldn't recover was pretty widespread but they didn't know our students, faculty and employees and our determination," says President Dr. Tommy King.
William Carey came from destruction to full restoration.
Sophomore Cassidy Monk says, "The lord has just delivered us from such a tragic event and how he's taken us from destruction. I was looking at old footage today from what happened a year ago. To see the campus now, where we've come from, and how honestly in such a short amount of time, we've rebuilt so much."
The school held a service to reflect on how far they've come. The service was held in the school's newly built chapel. This was the first event held in the chapel since the tornado. Students and faculty spoke on the day when the tornado tore through the campus and the road to recovery.
Executive Vice-President and Provost Scott Hummel says it's overwhelming to see the miraculous recovery. "To see the physical changes, to see the scars and the damage erased from campus but also to see the community over the course of this year really rally around our students to support our students, to help make sure that the university kept going very well and strong."
Hummel says the 43 buildings that were destroyed have all been rebuilt. He says they've completed the repair phase and right now they are in the construction phase.
"We've completed two brand new buildings. We have four other new buildings that are coming up. Most of those will be done by the end of this summer then the remaining one will be our main administration building. Tatum court will be finished fall of this year.
Despite all the doubters and naysayers, Dr. King says he believes the tornado didn't bring them down but made them stronger and closer.
"Here we are. Here we are," says King.