Of all the trees that were damaged or destroyed on the Hannibal-LaGrange University campus during Monday night's severe weather, there was one tree in particular that officials held their collective breath in regard to - the trinity tree.
When the sun rose Tuesday, the old, expansive shade tree appeared to have not lost so much as a branch.
"Thankfully our trinity tree and our arch are both standing tall as a significant sign of strength for this community and this campus," said Carolyn Carpenter, HLGU's director of public relations.
Other trees on campus did not do as well.
"Our tree line entrance is now cluttered with some trees that are down, uprooted and damaged," said Carpenter.
Of even greater significance was the structural damage that occurred on campus.
"A good-sized portion of our science building's roof was blown off last night. We have about eight buildings total with water damage," said Carpenter.
According to a press release issued by the university, in addition to the science building, the Roland Fine Arts Center, Prince House, Carroll Missions Center and a couple of the dorms also received damage.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Allen, president of HLGU, expressed gratefulness that "there was no loss of life."
At the time of the storm the university's student population was quite small, according to Carpenter.
"We had graduation at the beginning of the month so most of our students are either at home or on mission trips," she said.
HLGU staff members and the few remaining students on campus had help with their cleanup efforts. Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief teams arrived armed with chain saws. The local Bethel Baptist Association was also on hand to assist in the recovery. Carpenter noted that local contractor, Bleigh Construction, "has been here from the beginning."
While the lack of electricity reduced HLGU's ability to report on its status, it didn't silence the university.
"Thankfully we have our Facebook page, so a lot of information is being put up there," said Carpenter. "We have a lot of 'smart' phones and can do some communications through that means."