After an unseasonably warm January, winter returned to Geneva College with vengeance. On February 5 and 6, a storm blanketed the region with approximately 20 inches of snow. It was one of the largest snowfalls in Western Pennsylvania’s recorded history.
Classes were cancelled at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, and members of Geneva’s Physical Plant were up at 4 a.m. on Saturday, clearing sidewalks and parking lots. Provost Ken Carson encouraged students and staff to pitch in as they were able — not just on campus, but in the community.
“Our campus is in a residential neighborhood,” he wrote to students. “If you got a group of friends, you could go out and shovel walks and clean off cars. Go door to door and offer your services as long as they can provide the shovels. This would be one way to bless our neighbors in the midst of a true emergency.”
Students immediately went into action. In the midst of building snowmen, snow forts and igloos, they lent a hand to friends and neighbors on College Hill. One group of students shoveled the sidewalks and front steps of all the homes on 4th Avenue, including that of Dr. Maureen Vanterpool, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies.
When Vanterpool thanked one of the students, he responded with Romans 12:1: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices.”
“I'm so grateful that these students did not see this as someone else’s job!” she says.
Geneva President Kenneth A. Smith echoes this sentiment: “My thanks to all who helped dig us out of the snow this past weekend. I very much appreciate the work of our Physical Plant, as well as the staff and student volunteers. In addition to the ‘formal’ work of digging out the campus, I have heard several stories of friends joining forces to free buried cars and clear local driveways and sidewalks. Thank you, one and all!”
Click here to view a photo album of the weekend snow. Pictures courtesy of Brian Visingardi, Ken Carson, Lauren Holmes, Marti Aiken, Maureen Vanderpool, Daniel Favand and Theresa Gazo.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).