Hurricane Florence Wreaks Havoc on North and South Carolina HBCUs

The historically Black colleges and universities of North Carolina and South Carolina were among the many institutions affected by Hurricane Florence this past week. Here is a summary:

North Carolina:

Bennett College in Greensboro cancelled classes beginning on Wednesday September 12 at 5pm through Monday September 17. Classes resumed on Tuesday September 18, but President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins told students that they would not be penalized for missing class if the roads near them were still unsafe to travel on.

Elizabeth City State University cancelled all classes and on-campus events from September 11th through September 16. Additionally, the university issued an evacuation for all students living in residence halls on September 12.

Fayetteville State University suspended all university operations and evacuated all students from residence halls on September 12. Students that could not go home were consolidated to one on-campus shelter at the Rudolph Center. The university sustained minor damages such as roof leaks and basement flooding. Students may return to campus on Sunday September 23 and classes will resume on Monday September 24.

Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte closed from September 13 through September 17. The university urged students to be careful when returning to campus due to fallen trees and flooding in the area. Classes resumed on September 19.

Livingstone College in Salisbury closed from Wednesday the 12th through Monday the 17th. Classes resumed on Tuesday the 18th. In a university press release Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. said, “Our top concern is for the safety of our students. We are grateful that this area was spared any devastating effects from the storm, and that our campus has not suffered any damages or flooding in buildings and residence halls. Our prayers are with those in areas that have been adversely affected as we pray for their full and swift recovery.”

North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro cancelled classes at noon on Wednesday September 12. They resumed on Tuesday September 18th. The dorms remained opened during the week.

North Carolina Central University in Durham suspended operations starting on Wednesday September 12. Classes resumed on Tuesday September 18. In response to damages from the hurricane, members of the university community started the “In Truth and Service” program which has already started planning and executing several projects to provide support and relief to those in need.

Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh cancelled classed Wednesday the 12th through Monday the 17th. Residence halls remained opened during the week for students that could not leave.

Shaw University in Raleigh cancelled classes beginning on Tuesday September 11th at 5pm. They resumed the following Tuesday.


Winston-Salem State University cancelled classes and suspended operations on Thursday September 13. Classes resumed on Tuesday September 18. The university sustained no major damages to any facilities, services, or capabilities. The university established an emergency relief grant program called the Ram Relief Fund which grants students up to $500 if they have a documented financial need as a result of the hurricane.

South Carolina:

Allen University in Columbia cancelled classes on September 13 and they resumed on September 17.


Benedict College in Columbia suspended all university operations on Wednesday September 12 and encouraged students to go home for the remainder of the week. The university issued an 8pm curfew for anyone that remained on campus. Residence Halls reopened on September 16 and classes resumed the following morning.

Claflin University in Orangeburg closed on Monday September 10 and encouraged students to go home for the week. Residence halls reopened on September 16 and classes resumed on September 18.

Morris College in Sumter closed on Monday September 10. Faculty and staff returned to work on September 17 and classes resumed on September 18.


South Carolina State University in Orangeburg closed on Monday September 10 and students were encouraged to go home. For those that could not leave campus, a mandatory shelter was provided by the university in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. Residence halls opened on September 16, business operations resumed on September 17, and classes resumed on September 18.

Voorhees College in Denmark closed on Tuesday September 11. The university offered shelter for the local residents of Bamberg County. Classes and campus operations resumed on Monday September 17.


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