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Shaw Students Begin Summer Session Five Weeks After Tornado

(Raleigh, NC) – Shaw University students returned to classes just over five weeks after a tornado swept through the campus and forced the school to suspend the spring semester two weeks early.

“I was afraid we weren’t going to have any classes for the summer,” said Shaw student Cassandra Burney – who hopes to graduate in 2013 with a degree in business and accounting.  “I was happy and relieved when they said we would.”  She reports that she is already registered for the Fall 2011 session.

Junior mass communications major Victoria Mitchell agreed.  “I thought they would cancel it.  I was happy when I found out they weren’t.”  She says she is looking forward to the Fall Semester.  “This is where I wanted to stay.  I want to be at Shaw.”

Approximately 400 students were cleared to begin classes on Monday, with another 200 awaiting clearance.  The 600 enrollment compares to the approximately 700 students who were registered for the 2010 Summer Semester.

Shaw did not open student housing for the Summer Semester, but Saint Augustine’s College partnered with Shaw to offer housing to Shaw students.  Shaw is providing shuttle buses to and from the nearby Saint Augustine’s campus.

“Our Summer session is underway and very successful,” said Shaw University President Dr. Irma McClaurin.  “Now we turn our attention to the Fall Semester.  The students in our Platinum Sound Marching Band will report to school in late July, with freshmen arriving on August 12.  Our doors are open and we will be ready to welcome students back to the classrooms and dorms.”

University officials report that admission and registration figures for the Fall Semester are on pace to match last year’s numbers.

On April 16, a tornado ripped through the downtown Raleigh campus, devastating the Willie E. Gary Student Center – which houses the cafeteria – and two dorms on the main campus yard.  Almost every building on campus received at least minor damage. 

The insurance assessment is ongoing, but damage figures are into the millions.  Emergency repair work began in the hours after the storm and is continuing.

The Summer Semester continues through June 30.  Classes begin on August 17 for the Fall Semester.

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Shaw University was founded in 1865 and is the oldest historically black university in the south. Shaw University is a private, co-educational liberal arts University, that awards degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The primary mission of Shaw University is teaching with the commitment to maintain excellence in research and academic programs that foster intellectual enhancement and technological skills.