Cumberland University


CU students benefit from caring community


Two Cumberland University students whose residence was destroyed by fire on Sept. 3 are rebuilding their lives thanks to a generous community. Tyler Smith and Nick Sackman were suddenly awakened by a smoke detector before dawn that morning. They escaped safely but lost everything except what they were wearing at the time.

In the aftermath of the incident the two students have moved into on-campus housing and returned to classes but are still trying to replace what was lost.

“I literally ran out of the house wearing only a t-shirt and shorts, I was not even wearing shoes,” said Smith. “Everything I owned was destroyed - my bible, my clothes, computer, everything.”

Upon learning of the fire, University staff went into action and started making accommodations for the displaced students. 

“We needed to support these students as they rebuild their lives,” said Eddie Lovin, Director of Residence Life, Greek Affairs, & Orientation. “The University as a whole - students, faculty and staff - immediately stepped up and offered whatever assistance they could.”

Several area churches have provided some donations and monetary gifts.

While most of their needs have been met for personal items, a need for clothing still exists, whether that be actual clothes or gift cards to clothing stores so the students can choose their own clothes.

“We have felt the generosity of the Lebanon community,” said Sackman. “Without their help it would have been very difficult to get back on our feet.”

Monetary donations can be made through the Wilson County Baptist Association office at 200 East Gay Street in Lebanon (phone 615-444-8820). Anyone who would like to contribute material needs (clothing, bedding, toiletries) can drop off these objects in the Office of Residence Life in Labry Hall on Cumberland’s campus.