Mary Lee Cupp

Mary Lee Cupp, Accounts Payable

Mary Lee Cupp first heard about the fire on the radio at 5 a.m. on Monday. The news report had not given the exact location of the fire, so Mary went ahead and got dressed for work. Then she got a phone call from her director, Sharon Rodgers, who told her not to come in, because it was their building that had burned. She began thinking about what could have started the fire, because they were "always careful."

While she had been hesitant to go to the scene of the fire at first, by lunchtime Cupp had decided to go see exactly what kind of damage had been done. She said it was "a terrible sight." Surprisingly, she was able to recover two important personal items, an African violet from her deceased motherís plant and a stand her son had made in high school. She did lose her hummingbird collection and presents that friends had given her over the years.

Cupp was back to work on Tuesday in the Frye computer-training classroom, and says, "We were and still are very busy." Explaining how difficult it was to get organized, she explained that a lot of papers had been water and smoke damaged, and that moving to a new location on Dec. 9 made it hard to reorganize the workspace. She says, "Christmas gave us a short breather, which I really needed, from all the push to get the work done before the holidays. We are still recovering from the workload and from the damaged files."

Cupp was very impressed with the promptness of the JMU administration to get everyone back to work and to rally around those who had been affected by the fire. She explains how "the administration gave prompt attention to finding work space and office equipment. Other JMU community members gave us words of comfort and food. Cupp said, "We really enjoyed all the goodies that were given to us when we did not even have time to think about food. Also, I cannot say enough about the computing support office, especially Carol Miller and Becky Helmick, for their support and to Dwayne Martin who had to turn off the alarm when it accidentally went off."

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