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Anatomy Class Explores “Pasture to Plate”

October 14, 2016

Stronger Truer Sewanee will enhance Sewanee's ability to attract, retain, and support a nimble faculty and develop 21st-century programs that help students address today's unscripted challenges. Gifts in the campaign have already enhanced our offerings in business and pre-health, place-based studies and civic engagement, and lead donors have challenged others to extend the successes their gifts have enabled. This story shows one example of how Sewanee's academic distinction is being fostered by gifts made in the campaign.


Chef Rick demonstrates butchering techniques to students for an anatomy classBrandon 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. 

The study of anatomy is true hands-on biology, learning the structures of organisms through manual manipulations and detailed observations. The capstone experience for Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 203 this spring was ”pasture to plate” learning, with trips to the Sewanee Farm and McClurg Dining Hall. For two days the class left behind fixed cat and shark specimens in the anatomy lab to dissect fresh chicken carcasses and learn culinary skills in handling and preparing chicken.

One week later, the anatomy class was under the tutelage of our esteemed Executive Chef Rick Wright in the dining hall. The class discussed the transit of animal products from farm to kitchen and how culinary professionals handle and prepare animal products. Students learned how to perform an eight-cut preparation of a whole chicken. In the evening, that chicken was used by the dining hall staff to prepare a traditional Appalachian fried chicken dinner for the inaugural Anatomy Feast.

‌Integrated campus interactions, such as this one between the Biology department, the Farm, and McClurg, are vital components in a comprehensive liberal arts education. They expand the curriculum with experiential opportunities for students to study the complexity of living things.

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.