Hurricane Dorian: MTSU Blue Raiders Send Relief, President McPhee’s Niece Killed in Storm

by Mike Sparks

MURFREESBORO– Dr. Sidney McPhee, president of MTSU and a group MTSU Blue Raider supporters departed from the Murfreesboro airport Sunday morning with Raider Relief, supplies for storm victims in the Bahamas.

A new satellite is providing an image of what the Bahamas look like before and after Hurricane Dorian.

Two aircraft were used in this Raider Relief project: one was flown by Trustee’s Vice Chair Darrell Freeman and the other by Captain Terry Dorris with MTSU Aerospace.

Dr. McPhee noted, “Raider Relief supplies were off-loaded from both aircraft at the airport in Freeport, Bahamas and delivered to a nearby church that has agreed to serve as a pick-up point for families of our MTSU students.

Andrew Oppmann, MTSU Vice President of Marketing and Communications assist with unloading Hurricane Dorian relief supplies.

Our thanks to the congregation of Life Fellowship Church, who also provided trucks and help to unload our planes.”

The MTSU president is from the Bahamas and hit home to the McPhee’s even more since Hurricane Dorian took the life of his great niece.

According to WKRN News 2 Hurricane Dorian is a family tragedy for the president of Middle Tennessee State University.

Dr. Sidney McPhee’s own family, and his family at MTSU are both deeply affected.

“We were aware that she was missing,” said the university president about the relative he lost in the hurricane.

His brother’s granddaughter J’Vonaje Ford, who is McPhee’s grandniece was swept away earlier this week in the ferocious floodwaters of the hurricane storm surge that hit Freeport, Bahamas.


“With their needs and the needs of their families in mind, I am re-instituting our Raider Relief program and asking you to consider assisting some of our most needy students and their families,” McPhee said in the letter.

CBS News reports that Dorian was the strongest storm in history to hit the Bahamas, and the fact that it moved so slowly across the islands–about one mile per hour–decimated the islands for 48 hours, killing at least 43 people.

If you wish to assist MTSU with the Raider Relief efforts, visit, text raiderrelief to 41444 or contact the MTSU Development Office at 615-898-5818 for more information.