For seven years, Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) operated out of 45 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailers after its campus was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina. On Monday, June 2 at 10 a.m., the University will celebrate the removal of the trailers with the event “Rising in Triumph: Farewell FEMA Trailers.”
The event will take place on the Lake Campus parking lot adjacent to the College of Business & Public Administration. The brief program will feature reflections from SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo and representatives from the state Facility Planning & Control office (FP&C), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOSHEP). The event will culminate with a Second Line led by the Young Prospect Brass Band as the last trailer is driven off the campus.
“We were grateful to receive the FEMA trailers in 2006 because they allowed us to start rebuilding our campus and serving our students,” Ukpolo said. “Their departure means that SUNO is back and our campus is bigger and stronger than ever. That is something to celebrate.”
While on the campus, the trailers housed all the University colleges, departments, classrooms and auxiliary offices. Over the years as refurbished buildings reopened and new buildings were brought online, the students, faculty, staff and administrators began to move into the permanent structures. The trailers began to be decommissioned in December 2013 with the opening of the Lake Campus Multipurpose Complex.