Inside Higher Ed
April 10th, 2015
After a student at Webster University’s campus in Thailand died in a
motorcycle accident last spring, fellow students organized a memorial
service at which they released candlelit kites. A palm tree caught
“I ran to the tree and called upon students to find firefighting
equipment,” Michael Erickson, an English professor at Webster’s St.
Louis campus who was in Thailand on a temporary teaching assignment,
wrote in a letter to his dean last May. “All we could find was a garden
hose. While students tried to douse the fire, I ran in search of more
hoses, ladders or any other firefighting equipment. Nothing!
Because the fire was in the crown of the palm, our hose was not quite
long enough. A student climbed on top of another student’s shoulders to
shoot the water high enough. This worked."
Erickson's letter continued, "If the tree next to this one had caught
fire, the west wing of W.U.T. [Webster University Thailand] would
certainly have caught fire."