JACKSON, Tenn. - A series of severe storms that killed at least 30 people damaged parts of Union University in Jackson.
The university sustained heavy tornado damage when a line of heavy thunderstorms moved through the area.
About 1,000 students were on campus when the tornado rushed through the area after 7 p.m. Tuesday.
All the students were rescued including 16 trapped in a dormitory.
More than 50 students were taken to the hospital. Nine students were seriously injured. No one died.
"At this time, we want to thank everyone who has given help, provided service and offered ongoing prayer on behalf of Union University," said President David S. Dockery, in a letter posted on the university's emergency blog. "We thank God for His providential care. With the help of God, we will move forward together."
Dockery credited the university's emergency plan of action for sparing lives.
"Finally, I want to offer highest commendations for our students and the Student Life Team, who have handled this challenge in amazing ways. For your friendship, your support and your ongoing prayers for Union, we are most grateful," Dockery said.
The storms damaged 17 buildings. Every building on campus was hit. About 40 percent of the dorms were destroyed; another 40 percent severely damaged.
Union's Board of Trustees established a special fund. Designated gifts may be sent to Union University Disaster Relief Fund, 1050 Union University Drive, Jackson, TN 38305.