Dear Marietta College Family,

I am sad to share with you that earlier this evening a fire caused serious damage at the Alpha Xi Delta sorority house on Fifth Street. Thankfully, nobody was injured. I also want to thank the first responders and crisis managers who were on the scene almost immediately.

All 15 students and the house mother who were living in the house are either spending the night in the Chi Omega house, with friends on campus, or at homes in the community. Thank you to everyone at the Chi Omega house who quickly opened their doors Tuesday evening and provided much-needed support and compassion in the minutes and hours after the fire started. I also want to thank the students and employees who arrived on the scene offering help, including the other Greek organizations who purchased toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other needed supplies to get through the night.

We are already looking at alternative housing arrangements for the students who were living in the Alpha Xi Delta house and we will remain in constant contact with them and their families.

We hope to learn more about the cause of the fire in the coming days or weeks, but right now I want to cherish the fact that everyone is safe and healthy. However, as the days pass, we must not forget the emotional impact of such an experience and the sudden disruption of these students’ lives at a critical point in the semester. We have two weeks until Thanksgiving break and five weeks until Winter Break.

As a caring community, let us continue to offer compassion and other expressions of support to help those who were displaced feel as secure and settled as possible while they recover from the impact of the fire.


Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management