When historic levels of snow and cold weather blanketed the state of Texas, Southwestern Adventist University was transformed from a sunny campus where 100+ degree summer weather is not uncommon to a winter wonderland complete with snow and a frozen lake. While everyone had adjustments to make, members of the SWAU family made it their focus to care for one another across campus and the local community.
In the days leading to the sub-freezing weather, faculty and staff members rallied together to help students who may not have the appropriate layers for extreme temperatures. In partnership with Adventist Community Services, hundreds of brand-new jackets, sweaters and hoodies were distributed across campus to ensure everyone stayed warm and safe.
As the week progressed, the intentional care continued. Faculty members took the classroom virtual and worked tirelessly to keep classes engaging. Administrators joined facilities and grounds teams in salting and shoveling sidewalks. The student services staff worked around the clock to ensure that student needs were addressed and that they could even have some fun with the historic weather!
When the snow melted at the end of the week and temperatures warmed up, one might have thought that campus was about to return to normal. However, across Texas, the freezing temperatures and power outages had caused a shortage of drinking water and the effects soon trickled into Keene. While students and employees had their own water shortage to worry about, they selflessly came together to help city leaders distribute water to members of the community. They exhibited the university’s value of faith and service in the midst of a literal storm.