40 years ago at Penn State: University assists Johnstown residents after flood

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Periodically, Penn State will take a look back at news appearing in the Intercom, the University's faculty and staff newspaper, which has now transitioned into Penn State Today.

On July 19, 1977, dams near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, failed and flooded the area, killing more than 40 people.

Penn State Extension staff and others volunteered to help area residents, and the University assisted students from the area with deferred payment options and student aid.

“Penn State has tried to be as responsive as possible to this disastrous situation in the Johnstown area, both by coordinating and providing volunteer work crews of students, faculty, and staff on four occasions and now, in this instance by providing more direct financial relief for the affected students whose homes are in that area.”

-- Penn State President John W. Oswald

The following news brief appeared in Intercom after the natural disaster:

“Johnstown students may delay fall payments”

Penn State students from the flood-stricken Johnstown area will be allowed to defer payment of their fall term room, board, and tuition charges.

In severe cases of financial loss from the flood, they will be eligible for a special loan and grant fund, which has been established from funds already within the student aid area but which had been designated for other student aid purposes.

The emergency assistance plan will be available to flooded-area students enrolled at any of the campuses of the University.

In announcing the deferment plan and available aid funds, President Oswald said, “Penn State has tried to be as responsive as possible to this disastrous situation in the Johnstown area, both by coordinating and providing volunteer work crews of students, faculty, and staff on four occasions and now, in this instance by providing more direct financial relief for the affected students whose homes are in that area.”

Last Updated August 14, 2017