Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

WT Offers Support to Perryton Following Deadly June 15 Tornado


CANYON, Texas — In the wake of a devastating tornado that struck Perryton on June 15, West Texas A&M University is reaching out to support students in the area.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our friends, family and neighbors in Perryton,” said Dr. Chris Thomas, vice president for student affairs. “This morning, we compiled a list of students from Perryton, and we’re reaching out to them today to see what their needs are. Whether it’s medical, mental health, food or temporary housing needs, we have resources to help these Buffs.”

Sixty-one WT students in the spring, summer or fall 2023 semesters call Perryton home, Thomas said.

Students will be emailed and texted, and WT also will use social media posts to encourage students to contact Thomas directly when they are able. Thomas can be reached at 806-651-2053 or [email protected].

“I personally know many people lost their homes and personal belongings, and I know we have fellow Buffs that call Perryton their home,” said Filiberto Avila, a senior digital communication and media major from Spearman and student body president. “I have encouraged Student Government Association members to reach out to any Buffs affected by the tornado to show our solidarity and see how we can best support them.”

According to the Booker Fire Department and Ochiltree County Sheriff’s Office, three people were killed, at least 56 were injured and at least two were missing following the storm. Perryton was without power on the morning of June 16. Shelters areas have been set up at the Ochiltree County Expo Center, Perryton High School and Community Worship Center.

“When one Buff is hurting, we’re all hurting,” said WT President Walter V. Wendler. “As the source of higher education in the Texas Panhandle for more than 100 years, WT’s commitment is to serve the students and region, as laid out in the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.”

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025.


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