A personal account by Paul Braddy | 1999 junior

I was on the Debate team in ’99. Myself, my debate partner, Mike Gotcher and Pat Jablonski (our debate coach) had all flown down the day before. We woke up with the Miami news covering the story.

Pictured: Paul Braddy

This was before cell phones like we knew it, but we saw a crane had toppled over right beside Jablonski’s office. They were in the process of building the new science building. We had no clue if Trahern was damaged or not and it was hard to get in touch with anyone back home.

When we arrived back my first day on campus, it just felt like the air was taken out of you. Everything beautiful about the campus was gone.

That entire semester felt off. Each time you walked on campus you felt like it wasn’t right and you didn’t know when it would be ok again.

I remember not long after that, I was in a play, Cinderella, and we had rehearsals in Trahern and the tornado sirens went off. Each time, we thought this is it. It took a while to feel ok again.