Page 14 - Mag Fall 2011

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Original School Building
The April 27 tornadoes
that swept through
Alabama had a very
personal impact for
one Troy University
employee. However,
through that personal
brush with nature’s fury
came an idea that will
beneft victims of natural
disasters through a
special scholarship fund.
annual giving specialist
who works on TROY’s
Montgomery Campus,
was on the Dothan
Campus for a special
event when she received
word from her daughter,
Kelsey, that severe
weather was in the
offng in Tuscaloosa.
As the text messages
became more frequent,
Williamson could sense
her daughter’s growing
concern and anxiety
over the approaching
Finding televisions
in the lobby area of
the Dothan Campus’
Malone Hall,Williamson
watched as the mon-
strous F-4 tornado bore
down on Tuscaloosa. She
lost contact with her
daughter, which made
for a worrisome and
frantic return trip to
Williamson and daugh-
ter were reunited the
next day and ventured
into Tuscaloosa to the
neighborhood where
the home of her late
grandparents had
stood for decades.They
weren’t prepared for
what they saw.
“There were no land-
marks, no cell service,”
she said.“When we
rounded the corner and
saw the house, I literally
fell to my knees.”
The home sustained
heavy damage as a
result of the storm, but
fortunately the students
renting the house
A quick survey of the
neighborhood – or what
was left of it – revealed
that other residents of
the area were not as
It was in the midst of
those feelings of despair
that an idea began to
blossom – a scholarship
fund for those affected
by natural disasters.
“I kept thinking about
the young parents and
children and worrying
about how they would
bounce back from this,”
she said.“I knew that
there was going to be
plenty of disaster relief
efforts to help with
the initial needs, but
what about later.That’s
when the idea for The
4-27 Fund came to
mind. I started with a
rough draft and then
it all began to fall into
place.We created a
visual presentation that
provides information
about the fund and the
story behind it.”
The fund is one empha-
sis of the University’s
Annual Fund year-end
Williamson hopes that
this fund that grew out
of her family’s personal
experience with the
tornadoes of April 27
will fourish and offer
hope to those impacted
by natural disasters of all
“Having worked in
higher education at Troy
University for more than
20 years, I know the
importance of obtaining
a college education,”
Williamson said.“Al-
though we may not see
the results of The 4-27
Fund in our lifetimes,
the caring support of
those children affected
by natural disasters will
not go unnoticed. One
cannot lose by investing
in the future of a child.”
For additional informa-
tion about the The
4-27 Fund, contact the
Annual Fund Offce at
334-670-5843 or by
email at bdenison@troy.
edu.View a presentation
about The 4-27 Fund at
the Development page
4-27 Fund