Back to "Normal" at the W

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Mississippi University for Women students are back in class, but damage from a Nov. 10 tornado is still evident.

Cleanup around the campus is ongoing. The 80,000 square foot MUW gymnasium was demolished, and a week after the storm, the site was still littered with toppled bleachers and piles of bricks.

MUW President, Dr. Claudia Limbert, visited Meridian Monday to meet
with local alumni, a meeting scheduled before last week's tragedy.

"I'm visiting with the alumni, but I've also launched what I'm calling a statewide conversation," said Dr. Limbert. "Every week at my campus,
I have an open-door session of two hours. And I talk to anyone who'll come and visit with me. So I thought I would go out into the state, talk with people about how MUW is doing. What can we do better? And I also want to know more about the state. I wanted to learn about the state."

MUW athletic director Jo Spearman said the women's basketball team will likely use Columbus-area high schools for home games and practices. Spearman anticipates it will take two years to rebuild the gym.

The governor has signed a bill calling for the issuance of at least 10 million in general obligation bonds to assist Columbus and Lowndes County. School president, Dr. Claudia Limbert, adds that discussions for a possible name change for the school have been put on hold.

Limbert said she's now focused on helping the Columbus campus recover from the tornado. She'll examine the name change issue and present her recommendation to the state College Board in the spring.

Limbert said she wants to look at next month's results of a consultant's marketing study of MUW. An earlier survey showed that many people still consider MUW a women's college even though men have been admitted for the past 20 years.

Limbert wants to visit MUW alumni, business and political leaders. She's also seeking input from students, faculty and staff.

The final decision to change the name of the 118-year-old university rests with the Mississippi Legislature.