Friday, April 22, 2016

How Flooders Got its Name

We at LETU know that each floor of campus' residence halls have their own unique bond and history. Here's the story of how one floor was given its fitting name, as told by former resident and alumnus Phil Burks.

Flooders, circa 1970
When I was a new freshman in the fall of 1970, one of my roommates (we'll call him Rod) was a senior mechanical engineering student. We were in a room in Tyler Hall West on the third floor. That room was right across from the bathrooms, which are now a lounge. I was curious about the Flooder story and Rod was happy to tell me since it happened while he was an underclassman.

Rod described that he was sitting at his built-in desk on the wall that is adjacent to the hallway, deep in study. He heard huge commotion, then noticed his feet getting wet. Rod was also one of the LeTourneau EMTs who drove an ambulance for the City of Longview, so not much phased him. He simply tucked his feet under his seat and kept on studying while the water gushed into the room, then just as quickly disappeared.

A little background is appropriate. The bathrooms in Tyler Hall West include a shower that is a room with six shower heads, a passageway in, and a central drain. Back to the story...

Phil Burks with David Lingberg, current Flooders RA 
Finally Rod's curiosity got the best of him. It turns out that some of the third floor guys figured out that the bookshelf boards in their dorm rooms actually fit rather nicely into the shower door way! They learned that if they put a towel over the drain–yep–a swimming pool! I'm not really sure how long it lasted, but the techies learned a huge structural engineering lesson that day; water has a lot of weight and a lot of force! The boards gave way, water gushed out, went down the stairwells and went into the second floor electrical system.

I've since heard that in fact there is no evidence of any structural damage, but there were many light fixtures on the second floor and some on the first that had to be replaced. I've also confirmed the story with a friend who "may or may not have been involved in the science experiment that went awry."  Even though he and my roommate were there, we can't seem to pin down exactly when the flood happened. So, until someone confirms, we're calling it 1968-ish.

Many Flooders have gone on to be well-known and very successful in life and industry. All of us hope that every Flooder uses their ingenuity powers for good, not evil!  The following was posted on a Flooder Facebook page last week: "Let's all remember something...we all have a lot of fun with our heritage as Flooders. Wear the shirt with pride. But please use it as a conversation starter to tell people about Jesus. Tell people how he can flood their hearts with his love!"  

Flooders from across the decades will be gathering for a reunion this Homecoming Weekend, so if you see a Flooder, you might consider grabbing a pair of rubber boots. You never know when they'll decide they want to go swimming again. 

Flooders reunion t-shirt


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  3. Well, former flooder here and it my honorn to claim my uncle was one those "builders" who wanted a swimming pool. My brother and we both Flooders. Good group of guys and definitely the coolest on campus.