Wefald commemorates tornado clean up goal with sugary snack


    Drips of Purple Pride ice cream could be seen across the sidewalk near Hale Library as students and faculty tried to eat their treats before they melted to cream.
    The ice cream social, which took place Wednesday near Hale Library, commemorated the campus’ return after the summer tornado, which struck Manhattan on June 11.
    Shelly Broccolo, events coordinator for the office of the president, said she ordered enough ice cream to feed 2,000 people.
    Renee Westgate, Call Hall dairy bar manager, said the total order added up to be 924 gallons of ice cream.
    “An event like this hasn’t been held since September 1986, when President Wefald arrived,” Broccolo said.
    Not only did employees from the Office of the President serve ice cream, but they also handed out lemonade and water as a refresher during a hot afternoon.
    “It is miraculous that in 65 days we have made this tornado go away,” President Jon Wefald said during his speech at the social. “Now, it’s all about K-State, and K-State is better than ever.”
    The phrase “Better than Ever” stood for the amount of hard work and appreciation that went into cleaning up after the tornado. Stickers with the printed phrase were handed out to each student who ate ice cream. After the speech, members of the K-State Marching Band and members of the Classy Cats filed behind Wefald to show their support of the campus recovery.
    Jenny Church, who sampled chocolate ice cream, said she came because she was in the marching band.
    “This day says to me that [Wefald] truly does care and especially since I was here to see the tornado,” said Church, senior in family studies and human services. “He made the clean-up quick.”
    After campus crews surveyed the damage the morning of June 11, 41 buildings were reported to have severe damage and seven buildings had major damage, including missing roof pieces. Thirty-four other buildings were covered with insulation and debris.
    Also, more than 150 trees were ruined from the high winds, Wefald said. The KSU Facilities Department has accomplished its goal, Wefald said. Every classroom on campus is open, all tornado debris have been removed, and virtually all broken windows have been replaced, he said.
    “Picture the 65-day time period,” Wefald said. “Then fast forward to the third day of school, and it’s all done.”
    Along with the clean-up process, insurance claim monies allowed the university to hire companies to power wash tornado debris from 70 buildings.
    “To my knowledge no major college campus has ever been power washed,” he said. “Anderson Hall hadn’t been cleaned since 1881.”
    Scott Rader, junior in information systems, said he was in Manhattan during the tornado and that the campus has come a long way.
    “I’ve seen some of the things that have happened, and it’s just amazing,” he said, “and K-State deserves it.”