Message from President Sechrist

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Monday's tornado was especially cruel.  The destruction, loss of life, and number of injuries are almost too great to fully comprehend.  Like you, my heart goes out to those in the communities of Moore, Newcastle, and parts of south Oklahoma City.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted—believing that with support, the people in these communities will somehow move forward and rebuild their lives.

We know that some of our faculty and staff lived in the direct path of the storm and had their homes completely or partially destroyed.  For those of you who have suffered a serious loss, know that I and everyone at OCCC—your co-workers and friends—are gathered behind you in this difficult time, and we are here to support you.  Plans are well underway to help you get through the next days and beyond.  A process will be announced soon to let us know of your needs and connect you with assistance.

For those of you who are able to come to work, I know you are already extending yourself to help your colleagues who suffered loss or are struggling in the aftermath.  I thank you for the extra work you will do to make sure that those in need have the time required to restore their lives or the lives of their family members.  We will all need to continue to support each other in the weeks ahead.  My sincere appreciation also to those who have gone out of their way to check on co-workers or friends following the tornado and for the kindness and caring you have shown to each other.  Many of you have asked about donations. Announcements will be made today with information on how you can donate to help those in need.

I want to thank many of you who have already put in hours of planning to creatively and effectively meet the needs of our employees and our friends and neighbors who have lost so much.  The members of our senior leadership, campus police, facilities management, human resources, student services, information technology, and public relations—and others—have contributed to develop and implement plans to help those impacted.  We may not have thought of everything, so feel free to suggest additional ways to be helpful.

Together we will help our colleagues and communities move forward and rebuild.


Paul Sechrist