Damage from a tornado last weekend has forced Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, to cancel the rest of the semester, the school announced.
No one on campus was seriously injured, but dormitory rooms and the Willie E. Gary Student Center, where meals are served, were devastated. Windows and roofs were damaged in other buildings, and trees were toppled and lines were down all over campus, the school said in a press release.
"While we exist to educate these young men and women, our first priority is their safety and well-being," Shaw President Dr. Irma McClaurin said in a written statement aired by CNN affiliate WNCN. "With this widespread damage, we could not resume operations in time to continue classes over the next two weeks."
Shaw is a small, historically black, Baptist-affiliated college that was founded in 1865.
Just eight days of classes remained in the semester, followed by a week of exams, CNN affiliate WTVD reported. McClaurin said students will be graded based on their work so far, and graduation ceremonies will go on as scheduled on May 7. Math and English competency requirements are suspended for this semester, McClaurin said.
The local Mechanics and Farmers Bank has set up a relief fund to help the private university clean up and rebuild, the school said.