Thursday afternoon, July 19, 2018, a large, powerful tornado left the college untouched but severely damaged three Vermeer Corporation buildings just a few miles away. Roofs were ripped off, debris scattered and cars piled high. Fortunately, employees and about 400 visitors celebrating Vermeer’s 75th anniversary took cover and there were only a few minor injuries. Officials commended Vermeer for its exceptional disaster preparation. The community showed an immediate outpouring of support.
“We feel a strong sense of interconnectedness with Vermeer,” wrote President Mark Putnam in a memo to the campus community. “Members of the Vermeer family have served on the college’s board of trustees and a considerable number of alumni and family members work and have worked at Vermeer over the years.”
He urged those so inclined to donate to a tornado relief fund. Repairs to Vermeer’s facilities began immediately.
To contribute to Pella’s tornado relief efforts visit central.edu/tornado-relief.