Campus News

A Community That Cares: UK Continues Support for Western Kentucky Tornado Victims


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 7, 2021) — In December 2021, tornadoes unleashed destruction throughout Kentucky. Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. Businesses were demolished and forced to close. 

But in the aftermath of this record-breaking tornado outbreak, Kentuckians stepped up in extraordinary ways to help their neighbors, whether they knew them or not.  

Many University of Kentucky faculty, staff, students and alumni are part of the tornado recovery efforts taking place throughout the state –– demonstrating how we are a community that steps up to meet the moment and care for each other, even in the most challenging circumstances.  

Last month, we shared several stories about how the UK family is supporting those impacted by the storms:

These are just a few examples of how the UK community stepped up during the immediate aftermath of the storms. But this work is far from over. The damage will take months, if not years, to recover from.

This spring, UKNow will continue sharing some of the many stories of how the UK family is helping their fellow Kentuckians as they work to rebuild their communities — and ways you can continue to help.

If you know of a UK family member helping Kentucky tornado victims, please share that information here.  

The university also continues to support students and employees directly impacted by the tragic storms. UK students facing financial challenges because of the storm damage should complete the UK Center for Support and Intervention (CSI) referral form to be connected with a Student Success team member who can talk through available crisis-related financial resources and other basic needs support. Please check the box for "Acute financial need related to December 11th storm damage" and in the open box, please describe your financial needs as it relates to the storm. For help completing this form or other questions related to this process, call 859-218-SAFE.

As a reminder, the Counseling Center ( is available to help support you during this time; after hours and weekend phone consultation is available by dialing 859-257-8701 and pressing '1' at the prompt.

For more general questions, calls can be directed to UK Health Corps at 859-218-SAFE.  

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.