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Gift from Ning Tang, C'98, Extends Global Reach

November, 7 2017

Ning Tang, C'98, is helping Sewanee extend its global reach with philanthropy related to opportunities in China.

Dioscesan Gifts Put Wind in Sails for Seminary Relocation

November, 8 2017

As of October 2017, eight owning dioceses have made campaign commitments: Alabama, Arkansas, Atlanta, East Tennessee, Tennessee, Texas, Upper South Carolina, and Western Louisiana. With about $6 million already committed to the building from all sources, the University is calling on all owning dioceses to make an investment in the future of the Church.

Ashley Block on a biology field trip holds a catkin from a sourwood tree

Flowers for Ashley: Gift to the Herbarium Remembers one of Sewanee's Bright Lights

November, 8 2017

Dr. William Arthur Block, C’88, P’13, and Teri O. Block, P’13, have established an endowment in memory of their daughter, Ashley Block, C'13 to support the Sewanee Herbarium, a library of plant species from the Cumberland Plateau that was originally assembled by Professor George Ramseur and is now lovingly cataloged and updated by Associate Curator Mary Priestley and Professor of Biology Jon Evans.

Engel Scholarship Puts Focus on Rural Appalachian Achievement

November, 8 2017

A gift from the Engel Family Foundation is the first step in creating a recruiting and mentoring program for rural students within a 40 mile radius of Sewanee. In establishing a scholarship, the family has charged the University with building a program that supports local students and allows them to form networks. 

Village Plans are Strategic Move to Enrich the Sewanee Experience

November, 8 2017

Terrell Harrigan, P’15, and Elliott Harrigan, C’78, P’15, are key donors in the University's efforts to enrich the Sewanee experience. A Regent, Harrigan has supported the Sewanee Inn, wayfinding, and the Village project. All these are connected to the University's strategic planning to improve certain parts of the campus with an eye toward placemaking the will support admissions, advancement, and recruitment of faculty and staff.  

Lombard and Everett Puri

Puri Family Gifts to Multiple Campaign Pillars Come from the Heart

November, 8 2017

Lombard Puri, P’20 and Everett Puri, C’82, P’20, and a member of Sewanee’s Board of Regents, have made a gift to each of the pillars of the Stronger Truer Sewanee Campaign. 

tiger in garth

#TigerTuesday raises more than $643,000 in one day

December, 16 2016

On Tuesday, May 9, Sewanee hosted its first-ever one-day giving challenge—#TigerTuesday—and engaged the University family around the world. The event raised an unprecedented $643,285 for the Sewanee Fund from 1,943 generous donors.

“This historic event began thanks to the generosity of two alumni who came together to inspire the University family to support the Sewanee Fund,” said Whitney Franklin, director of the Sewanee Fund. “The donors offered to match the first $150,000 in gifts and to provide an additional $50,000 if at least 1,500 donors made a gift by the end of the day.”

Thomas gift spurs Wellness Commons forward

December, 16 2016

Late last year, a gift of $3 million from Dorothy and Lee, C’67, Thomas gave a shot of energy to a project to build a new facility for health and wellness on University Avenue at the site of the current University Bookstore. As the Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign rolls out, this new health and wellness center will be a top priority.

The wellness and recreation facility will house the Sewanee Outing Program, the Lee and Dorothy Thomas Wellness Center, and a store for publications, sundries, and grab-and-go items. A fitness center will occupy the space where the main floor of the bookstore is now, with most bookstore functions being relocated, possibly to the Sewanee Village, as part of the village renewal program. The Thomas Wellness Center will anchor the lower floor, along with a new and much improved space for the Sewanee Outing Program. All the functions related to the well-being of students in general will find a home in this graciously designed building.

Lindsey Hollin, C'00, and Scott Smith at a Stronger Truer Sewanee Campaign event

Lindsey Hollin, C’00, sets a Cornerstone

December, 16 2016

“So this is like an adopt-a-student program,” said Lindsey Hollin, C’00, when a representative of Sewanee approached her about setting up a Cornerstone Scholarship. That idea appealed to Hollin, and she agreed to make a four-year commitment at $5,000 per year, which will allow her not only to support a Sewanee student, but to follow that student’s Sewanee career, through letters, an annual stewardship luncheon, and other opportunities. 

Student working at the new Bloomberg computer terminals in duPont Library

Bryan gift expands business opportunities

December, 16 2016

Sewanee is well known for the intellectual rigor of its classes, for its lack of grade inflation, and for standing on a firm foundation of traditional academic disciplines. Even through the generational turnover of faculty, these principles are unaltered. At the same time, Sewanee is building new, integrative and interdisciplinary programs such as pre-health, business, civic engagement, and environmental studies. And, the Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign is helping to ensure that these new approaches will prepare students for their futures while honoring the institution’s past.

One of these integrative programs is the innovative W. Polk Carey Business Program, a combination of curricular education offered through a business minor and co-curricular enrichment made available through the Babson Center for Global Commerce. 

Fred and Sissie Wile in Italy

Wiles’s EFM involvement leads to gift

December, 16 2016

The University of the South has received a generous gift of $100,000 from Sissie and Fred Wile for the Beecken Center of the School of Theology. This gift supports Stronger Truer Sewanee—The Campaign for the University of the South’s plan to move the School of Theology back to central campus and into a new facility for both the seminary and the Beecken Center.

Karen Meridith, executive director of Education for Ministry and associate director of the Beecken Center, says, “The Wile gift will help make it possible for us to have up-to-date spaces intentionally built for the variety of training events and workshops offered by the Beecken Center, from small groups in circles, to certificate courses, to large international conferences meeting via Internet connection.”

Make an Impact logo for the new Sewanee Fund

The University launches The Sewanee Fund

October, 14 2016

Annual gifts made by dedicated alumni have always been a vital part of the financing of a Sewanee education. Some alumni choose to make a gift that is unrestricted, that can be used for what Sewanee needs most. That kind of gift really helps undergird the Sewanee Experience in changing times and economic conditions.

Campaign logo over the a drone shot of the quad

Sewanee announces the largest capital campaign in University history

October, 10 2016

The University of the South has announced a $250 million fundraising campaign, called Stronger Truer Sewanee—The Campaign for the University of the South. The campaign is the most ambitious in Sewanee’s history.

To date, more than $175 million (70 percent of the goal) has already been raised; colleges typically announce the “public” phase of a fundraising campaign about halfway through.

Historic Gifts Challenge Others to Support the Sewanee Guarantee

October, 9 2016

A generous gift of almost $8 million to the University of the South will help support Sewanee’s strong commitment to keeping the cost of a top-quality college education as accessible as possible. The gift to support financial aid, from the estate of Emerson C. Winstead Jr., C’50, and Laura Battle Winstead, is the fourth largest single gift in Sewanee’s history, and the largest single gift to support financial aid.


November, 29 2016

When Sewanee approached Cornelia, C’85, and Dr. Joe, C’84, LaRussa about making a gift to the Hippocrates Challenge, the couple thought long and hard about the request. “We wanted to help Sewanee get this right, because the Pre-Health Program should provide a first-rate experience for our students,” says Cornelia Barrett LaRussa. “We are passionate about Sewanee, and we had several ideas about how we could best help based on what we had heard from Sewanee graduates, students who had rotated through our office, and on our own experiences 30 years ago, as well ast hose of our children [Barrett LaRussa, C’14, and Olivia LaRussa, C’16] and their classmates.”


November, 29 2016

2016 was a very good year for Carol Shepherd Titus, C’81, and her husband, Bill. The purchase of the bank for which they worked by another bank gave them a windfall that left them thinking about how they could make a positive change in the lives of others and see to their own futures at the same time.

Chef Rick demonstrates butchering techniques to students for an anatomy class

Anatomy Class Explores “Pasture to Plate”

October, 14 2016

Brandon Moore combines the inspired teaching and research chops that characterize the next generation of the Sewanee professoriate. The Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign will provide funds that will raise Sewanee's ability to attract and retain a distinctive faculty, delivering programs such as pre-health, business, civic engagement and place-based studies, as well as traditional academic disciplines.  

Students exposed to essential internship experiences

October, 11 2016

Each summer, Sewanee students benefit from career-building internships that supplement their classroom work. In 2016, 163 students were able to participate in otherwise-unpaid internships due to the generous support of alumni, parents, and friends of the University. Students did internships in 17 countries and 21 states.
Read a few their stories.

Commons and village to promote joyful common life

October, 14 2016

Visitors to the Sewanee campus have already noticed significant changes to the physical reality of the campus, made possible by gifts to the Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign. A magnificent Sewanee Inn is welcoming visitors who come to do business with the University or just want a wonderful place to spend the weekend. Athletic fields, equipped with new turf, are allowing students to compete on state-of-the-art facilities. New residence halls are accommodating a growing student body.

Make a Transforming Difference

October, 6 2016

The School of Theology is about to embark on a new and exciting prospect—a move back to the heart of the central campus. Hear students, faculty, and staff articulate the many benefits and explain what it will mean for the School, the University, and The Episcopal Church as a whole.

Vice-Chancellor McCardell presents the campaign to the Board of Trustees

Vice-Chancellor announces capital campaign to the Board of Trustees

October, 10 2016

On Oct. 7, at the meeting of the Board of Trustees, Vice-Chancellor John McCardell announced a $250 million fundraising campaign. Stronger Truer Sewanee—The Campaign for the University of the South is the most ambitious in Sewanee’s history.

To date, more than $175 million (70 percent of the goal) has already been raised.

Building Your Own Tools

October, 9 2016

SUMMA is the brainchild of the the Reverend Christoph Keller III (father of Christoph Keller, C’08), an Episcopal priest and theologian currently serving as interim dean and rector of Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock. SUMMA offers high school students tools for reasoning and in-depth knowledge of the Christian theological tradition. Begun as a pilot project in Little Rock, the program is now expanding nationally through the Beecken Programs Center at the School of Theology.

McAllen Scholarship Continues to Support Seminarians

October, 6 2016

The receipt of a $100,000 gift to the School of Theology from Robert McAllen in December 2014 doubles the value of an incentive scholarship that the School awards annually to a master of divinity student. This gift continues the family legacy of giving that was begun by Dr. C. McAllen in 2008.

New Building and Location Will Support Continued Expansion of the School of Theology

October, 5 2016

In 1984, the School of Theology moved from St. Luke’s Hall in the center of campus to a space formerly occupied by the Sewanee Military Academy. In June 2015, the Board of Regents of the University of the South approved the plan to move the School of Theology back to central campus. This move is hailed for not only locating the School closer to much-needed resources, but also bringing a major part of the University’s Episcopal tradition back to the heart of the institution.

Divine Maloney, C'17, shares his Sewanee Story

October, 7 2016

Divine Maloney, C17, was one of three students who presented their Sewanee story to the Board of Trustees on October 7. He shares his experience as a student athlete, a double major, and a self-proclaimed freshman knucklehead.

As he begins his senior year, Maloney is now a computer science and Spanish double major, captain of the football team, and published researcher. "So, how did things get better?" he asked. "Sewanee, that's how."

Watch Divine's story and know your gifts and pledges to the Sewanee Fund will make an immediate impact on the lives of Sewanee students.     

Study in Place

October, 9 2016

Professor Deborah McGrath was in the weeds on this one. In fact she was pulling the weeds. It was a hot day in early June, and a complex process to design and build a constructed wetland, an innovative wastewater treatment system, was about to come to fruition. A few days later, a landscape crew would come to plant native bulrushes and other wetland plants in the new facility, but for now, McGrath and several students were pulling the weeds that had sprouted in the imported topsoil.

The Antman Cometh

October, 11 2016

Geanina Fripp and Scott Summers, both C’16, are in the ecology lab in Sewanee’s Spencer Hall, surrounded by hundreds of specimen tubes, each containing a single ant. They lean in toward a computer monitor showing a curving graph. “It’s a rarefaction curve,” says Summers. “It’s showing us that we have kind of passed the point where it is likely we will be discovering many more species of ants.” The two students have been collecting ants as part of a larger, multidimensional project in Haiti. Their efforts enjoyed a boost this fall when David Lubertazzi, a post-doctoral fellow from Harvard, came to campus to take a look at the project.


Dining workers focus on making food appealing through preparation and presentation

Campaign Gift from Parents Upgrades Dining Experience

October, 9 2016

Every morning, if you have a a email address, you are going to get a message from Chef Rick, executive chef and interim director of Sewanee Dining. Part food history, part nutrition advice, part promotion of the menu, the email messages are a kind of performance, encouraging the community to be more mindful about food. Now, thanks to a generous gift from David and Edie Johnson, these messages are combined with a reorganization of the McClurg Hall and a focus on visible food preparation that helps students make good food choices.

Theatre Students Launch Careers from Tennessee Williams Center

October, 9 2016

Deep in the bowels of the Tennessee Williams Center, Huntre Woolwine C’16 is leading a tour for the Class of 1965 at its 50th Reunion. Woolwine is engaging and the class members are impressed by the facility. “I had no idea this was here,” several exclaim. “We certainly didn’t have anything this impressive when I was here.” Woolwine leads the group through the labyrinth, showing costuming rooms, set construction and design, and the impressive studio theatre, reportedly the very first computer-assisted theatre design laboratory at a college in the United States.

Smith Endowment to Support Experiential Learning

November, 2 2015

Through the leadership of Suzanne Dansby, C'81, a new fund is being created that will support faculty and students who are doing place-based study on the Cumberland Plateau and the southern Appalachians. The Gerald Smith Experiential Learning Fund will support teaching and research using methodology pioneered by Smith in his religion classes at Sewanee. 

Getting Pre-Health Right: One Family’s Response

February, 15 2016

Cornelia, C'85, and Joe LaRussa, C'84, are showing how one family has responded to the Hippocrates Challenge. Wanting to "get pre-health right," they have provided funds to expand the curriculum to needed coursework and have also helped provide direction for the program.

The Waddells in Fulford Hall

The Waddells Tell a Sewanee Family Story

August, 12 2016

Inspired by the mentorship of a beloved economics professor, the Waddell Family of Memphis is honoring a pivotal teacher-student relationship by creating The Waddell Family Internship in Business Honoring Duke Waddell C’61 and Prof. James Edward Thorogood C’35. The fund will begin supporting students who find great summer internships that are otherwise unpaid.  

Student with test tube

Hippocrates Challenge Bolsters Pre-Health Programs

November, 2 2015

A gift from an anonymous donor has created the Hippocrates Challenge for pre-health. Sewanee is challenging medical professionals to come together as a group to match the $500,000 challenge gift to create a $2 million endowment to support medical internships, enhanced advising, preparation for pre-professional examinations and challenging clinical experiences. 


Class of 1964 Establishes Endowment for Finding Your Place

November, 2 2015

In 2014, the Class of 1964 adopted Finding Your Place for a reunion project, donating funds for a substantial endowment to sustain this innovative program. Finding Your Place introduces students to Sewanee and to academic life, using the place as a departure point for understanding intellectual practices. 

Rush to Buy Rush to Justice

October, 21 2016

Attorney turned author Jerry Summers, C'63, has written a fascinating account of a mid-twentieth-century public figure, Raulston Schoolfield. Meet or renew acquaintance with Summers at Homecoming 2016

$3 Million Commitment Advances Wellness Project

December, 16 2016

At its meeting in December, the Board of Regents gave its approval for a project to create a new wellness and recreation facility, yet to be named, on the site of the Sewanee bookstore. A $3 million commitment from Lee, C’67, and Dorothy Thomas has helped move the project forward.

A design by Wier Boerner Allin of Jackson, Mississippi, leaves the building’s exterior the way it was originally built, while replacing additions that have been made in stages over decades with a new two-level building behind what is now the bookstore. The Lee and Dorothy Thomas Wellness Center will occupy most of the lower floor, along with the offices of the Sewanee Outing Program. The Thomas gift increased the total raised to date for the overall facility project to just under $8 million.

Hollin Sets a Cornerstone

January, 17 2017

‌"I can do that," said Lindsey Hollin, C'00, when Sewanee called to ask her to support today's students. She became one of 15 donors in late 2016 to establish a Cornerstone Scholarship, a great way to have immediate impact and help ensure access to a great Sewanee education. 

$3 Million Commitment Advances Wellness Project

December, 16 2016

At its meeting in December, the Board of Regents gave its approval for a project to create a new wellness and recreation facility, yet to be named, on the site of the Sewanee bookstore. A $3 million commitment from Lee, C’67, and Dorothy Thomas has helped move the project forward.

A design by Wier Boerner Allin of Jackson, Mississippi, leaves the building’s exterior the way it was originally built, while replacing additions that have been made in stages over decades with a new two-level building behind what is now the bookstore. The Lee and Dorothy Thomas Wellness Center will occupy most of the lower floor, along with the offices of the Sewanee Outing Program. The Thomas gift increased the total raised to date for the overall facility project to just under $8 million.

Sewanee kicks off regional campaign events

January, 11 2017

The launch of the Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign continued with the first in a series of regional events in Nashville on Jan. 10. Regional events will also be held in Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Jacksonville in January and then Birmingham, Memphis, Houston, and San Antonio in February. More than 20 events are scheduled for this year—and more in 2018.

Bruz Clark, president of Lyndhurst and Riverview Foundations

Lyndhurst and Riverview Foundations Back Novel Science on the River

June, 14 2017

Starting In late July and lasting about a month, Sewanee and partners will be launching the Tenneswim project, an end-to-end characterization of the Tennessee River: its general health, the presence of microplastics and heavy metals, the health of river fauna, and other measures. This scientific and public education project will be conducted through an amazing feat of physical endurance, with a German researcher and long-distance swimmer swimming the entire length of the river. Grants from the Lyndhurst and Riverview Foundations have led the way as donors continue to support this project. 

If you are interested in a gift that goes beyond current-use dollars, named endowed internship funds begin at the $100,000 level. Named endowed scholarship funds begin at the $150,000 level for the College and $75,000 for the School of Theology.

Campaign Priorities