Maibeth Porter

Phoebe and Rob: This is such wonderful news! I cannot express how optimistic I now feel about Sewanee's future!

Bill Stiefel

Welcome back to Sewanee, Rob. As the Co-chair of Nominations, Elections and Credentials, it was my pleasure to put forward your name to the Trustees for election today. As the VC almost always sits in on our committee's work during the year, I am certainly looking forward to working with you, and exploring your ideas on how we can bring excellent At-Large trustee candidates before the Board of Trustees as well as, every other year, trustee-nominated Regent candidates. All the very best to you and to your family. William (Bill) C Stiefel Jr

Sarah Sells

Welcome back to Sewanee! This is delightful news and we look forward to working with you!

Jennifer Austin

Dear Rob & Phoebe, Welcome back to the mountain! YSR! Jennifer Mann Austin C'93

Chip Stanley

Way to go Rob! Excited that you are back on the Mountain! Best of everything! Chip/

Tara Seeley

I am thrilled at this news, and have tears of joy! You have all my support as a member of the class of 1970, and I look forward to seeing you and Phoebe when I am next on the Mountain.

Perrin Dargan C'16

Vice Chancellor Pearigen: Welcome back home! As a Trustee, I am thrilled at your election and acceptance as the 18th Vice Chancellor, and I look forward to many wonderful years with you at the helm of this wonderful institution that we all love so well. I'm sorry I was unable to be there in person today, but I attended via Zoom and very much appreciated your comments. I look forward to meeting you in the near future. Good luck to you and Phoebe with the transition! Perrin

John Holmes

I cannot express how excited I am for this news and Rob and Phoebe's return to the Domain. The school could not be in better hands. YSR!

William W. Moore

THE BEST NEWS I'VE HEARD FROM SEWANEE IN YEARS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT REJOICING !!!!!!!!! The VC Search Committee did a splendid job. With every good wish from your friends, William W. Moore & Sue P. Moore

Carol & Kyle Krebs Hank ‘17. Meredith ‘20

We are beyond excited to have you both! Hank told us last night after he spoke to Wes, and our family is so happy for Sewanee. The University is in good hands and we cannot wait to see what the future holds. Congratulations from the Krebs family❤️

Margaret McLarty

With great joy, we welcome you and your family home to Sewanee. Thank you for your continued leadership and your willingness to serve this special place! YSR!

Maurine Walling McCourry

So very excited to read this news! Congratulations to Dr. Pearigen and to my beloved Alma Mater!!

David Jackson 1978

Dear Rob and Phoebe, I am thrilled about Rob's election as the 18th Vice Chancellor. Congratulations, and I look forward to seeing you on the Mountain some time soon. PS One of my children, Ben, is a current sophomore at Sewanee. All the best to you and your family. David

Charlie Tucker

Well deserved. Congratulations and best of luck as you undertake this new step in your journey!

Clark Spoden

Rob - Fantastic!!! I am so glad you are going to be in this important role at our Alma Mater! This is just great. Clark

Dr. Ben Shackleford

Rob, Happy to see you back on the mountain. I recall working with you as Student Fire Chief during your tenure as Dean Pearigen. In particular, the care and concern you demonstrated for students and community members during those awful times when firemen were working emergency situations on the mountain stuck with me. Indeed, your genuine commitment to that post remains an inspiration, and will no doubt admirably flavor your time as Vice Chancellor. Welcome back, I wish you all the best, Dr. Ben Shackleford '89

Tish Spearman

Rob - congratulations! So excited for you and Phoebe on this terrific news. I hope to see you both back on the Mountain. Welcome home, Tish Spearman

Silas McClung 2024

Dear Vice-Chancellor Pearigen, Congratulations, it's a pleasure to welcome you and Phoebe back to the Domain and the Mountain we call home! I'm glad you picked up the mantle when Sewanee called, and I look forward to meeting you! All the best, Silas McClung (C'24) YSR & EQB!

Amanda MacDonald

Dear Rob and Phoebe, I was so thrilled when I opened my email today and saw the news that you will be returning to Sewanee. In addition to admiring the tremendous work you have done at Sewanee and at Millsaps, I feel a special warmth having known you as friends, and Phoebe as my teacher, while I was a student. The entire Sewanee community is fortunate to benefit from your leadership once again. Many congratulations and welcome home! EQB, Amanda MacDonald (Mandy Ellis) c'91

Charlie Josep

It is nice to know a person familiar with live on the Mountain and the Sewanee traditions and history is the new VC of the University. Charlie Joseph “60”

The Rev. Dr. Ken Saunders T'07

Welcome back to the mountain!

W Harold Bigham

Dr. Pearigen, I am an alumnus, Class of 1954; ergo, I am not a newcomer to interest in Sewanee's future. You may, or may not, remember that I was a law professor for some forty (40) years at Vanderbilt and Pepperdine Law Schools. The groves of academe are very familiar to me. My concern for the University has been intense for several months. Your willingness to return as Vice Chancellor I view as great blessing. Please know that you will be in my prayers, as will the University. If I can be of assistance, you have only to ask. Respectfully. W Harold Bigham Professor of Law (Emeritus) School of Law Pepperdine University

Cindy Hargis

Dear Rob, I could not be happier to hear that you are our 18th VC! You may remember me as Cindy Caldwell. I used to work in the University Counseling Services. I now work for the Education for Ministry program at the School of Theology (temporarily located at the Mabel Ward building, adjacent to Sewanee Hospital). Wishing you, Phoebe, and family every blessing as you return home. Cindy Caldwell Hargis

Doug Cameron

Welcome back Rodney and Phoebe! Excited for you and for Sewanee!

John Spsinhour 1973
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

My wife Elise Givhan Spainhour C’74 and our son John Christian Spainhour all welcome your return.

Rob Rhoden

This is delightful news! Welcome back and I hope to say ‘hi’ in person at a future homecoming. YSR!

Khalid Eldakroury

Dr. Pearigen is a great choice! I am sure he will thrive anywhere.

Amanda Polivka
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

This is such wonder news! Welcome home Rob and Phoebe!! YSR! Amanda (Agnew) Polivka

Christie Kizer Burbank

Rob & Phoebe: This is truly the best news ever! Lots of wonderful emotions- even tears of joy- for you and your family, for the University, and for everyone who knows and loves the magic of Sewanee (including us)! Sending all our best today and always, Christie ('94), Brice, Bea, & Kizer Burbank

Logan Ray

Welcome back Dr. Pearigen! We know you will lead with integrity. YSR

Chip Hunt

Rob: I cannot tell you how excited I am to hear your wonderful news. Welcome back!! All the best, Chip Hunt

Pam Kennedy

CONGRATULATIONS ROB AND PHOEBE. We are toasting you from the Grace yacht in the Galapagos with VAUGHAN and Nora Frances McRae and Jeff and Ginny Runge and I am the only one with internet. We are all thrilled—both for you and for Sewanee. This truly is good news for the school we all love so much. Hope to see you this summer. Yea Sewanee’s Right!!! Pam and Gibert Kennedy

Valerie Doyle Stogdill

Congratulations!! Welcome back!

Vishal Nehru

There's good decisions, and then there's GREAT decisions. Bringing the Pearigens back home to Sewanee is clearly a great move! Dr. Pearigen has previously shown scholarship, focus and importantly, grace, as a respected member of the Sewanee faculty and as Dean of Students, and we are lucky to have his leadership now at the VC level! YSR! Vishal Nehru C'06

Polly Beckington

Congratulations to you both! Phoebe, I had so much fun in your jazz class in the then brand spanking new TN Williams Center. We rocked out to the Backstreet Boys. Wishing you both the best on this next chapter! Cheers, Polly Class of 2000

Christine (Tina) Wicks Madison

Hi, Rob You probably don't remember me (Tina Cross) from Sewanee, but I do remember you. I married Franklin Wicks after we graduated Sewanee in 1975. My roommate was Pooka (Diana) Kieffer, who married Henry Brown III. I've visited Sewanee several times, but live in Pennsylvania all the years between then and now! Glad to know you are still devoted to Sewanee and the wonderful community in which we lived for several years after graduating. I still stay in touch with some of my classmates and follow "Shenanigans" on FB. I'm thrilled to learn you have been elected Vice-Chancellor and look forward to following your progress there! God bless you richly! Tina Madison, C '75


Dean Pearigen!!!! Can’t wait to meet you on campus! Ashok ‘92

Martin Tilson ,Jr. 1974
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Rob, Thank you and Phoebe for stepping up to provide leadership and vision for the growth and prosperity of Sewanee. I know I join many others who are grateful, and excited again about out University. You bring a record of achievement, a balanced and rational mind, and a devotion to excellence. I hope the bells are ringing as this is a great day for Sewanee! Please call upon me for anything I can do to support your efforts! Thank you both, Martin

Bo and Shannon Smith 2025

The Smith Family from Jackson, MS area are excited that this national search for Vice-Chancellor is Robert Pearigen. One of many reasons why we felt comfortable in our choice with the University of the South was our daughter Lauren Anne Smith C'25 was considering her college options. My wife Shannon spoke in length with Mrs. Phoebe Pearigen whom was so supportive of Lauren Anne but also a believer in The University of the South and what it had brought to her and her family with so many great memories and opportunities the school presented that continued to this day. Tell them we said hello as they were invited this past summer to our house when we held a Sewanee Alumni invite but unfortunately they were out of town and my message to Robert then and the Dean of Sewanee was I felt he was what The University of the South really needed.

Nick Babson
Alumnus/alumna, Staff, Friend

Rob and Phoebe; we are so excited to have you both back on the Mountain, and, Rob, we are here to support you in you role as VC in any way we can. YSR! NICK

Jim Balcom

Rob and Phoebe What great news! This day is overdue, but so thoroughly welcome. My faith in Sewanee is restored. All the Best, Jim Balcom

Leigh Sumerel Yarbrough

I was so thrilled to hear this wonderful news! Welcome back to the mountain, and thank you for your amazing service to Sewanee. I know “Dean Pearigen” is a perfect fit but confess my first thought was, “Yay! I hope I’ll get to see Phoebe up there soon!”Much love and best wishes to you both for a brilliant future!

Caroline Liljenwall Crider 1977 & parent of student 2003
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Wow! Rob, sending heartfelt congratulations to you!!! Caroline L. Crider

Jim Adrian

Rob, I know I speak for many others who have come to know and admire you as a classmate, professor, and academic leader when I say how thrilled I was to learn of your appointment as our new VC! I believe that the Lord continues to smile upon Sewanee by placing you here at this critical time. Congratulations and I look forward to the time when I can personally greet you back home. Jim Adrian

Holli Oakley Mast

Congratulations and welcome back!

Ty( Debbie) Cook

SO, SO happy for you and family!! What great news! Tayloe moving to Sewanee next month! We will see you on the mountain!YSR Ty & Debbie

Tara Frankel Becker 2025
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Congratulations and welcome back to the mountain! We both thought you were a fabulous leader when we were students and are beyond thrilled to have you back leading as VC! Our son is currently a sophomore and we have high hopes our daughter will matriculate as well. Wishing you all the best in your transition. If you need any support, please do not hesitate to contact us. Warm regards, Tara Frankel Becker C’95 and James (Jay) Pahl Becker C’94

Cindy Kershner
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Welcome back, Rob! We're so glad you're here!

Eric Hartman
Friend, Former Dean, Former VP, Community member

Welcome home, friend. You have been a long and dear mentor to me, since I drove through the gates for the first time in 1996. In fact, you were the reason for my arrival, and you cultivated my love for the place, the mission, and the people. It seems only appropriate that you return at this moment in the life of the University. You have always served others with grace, intellect, and humility. Sewanee will benefit greatly from your skills, and if those are not enough, you can always leverage your superpower—Phoebe. With love and admiration, Eric Hartman and all the Hartmans—Lisa, Harrison, and Sophia

Clayton Stanley

Welcome back!! I can't begin to tell you how excited Katy and I are that the Pearigen's are BACK! We intend to support you and Sewanee in any way that we can. The truth is Sewanee needs you more than you need Sewanee - so thank you. This is a welcome message, so I'll spare you my ideas, but it seems to me that some (perhaps the most vocal) believe that so much about Sewanee and its history is broken. I disagree. I feel certain you are the right man at the right time to be the steady hand and level head that Sewanee so desperately needs. Lastly, we have two children nearing the college decision, Sewanee just went back to the top of the list!

George Grice
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Dr. P!!! The Grice family is so happy for you and your family. Returning to tally’s brow for good has to be an exciting feeling. I’ll be sure to visit soon.

Laura Millard Ladd
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Dr. Pearigen, I was so delighted to hear the news that you have accepted the Board of Trustees' invitation to return to the Mountain as our next Vice-Chancellor. I know that your knowledge of Sewanee's roots and your vision for moving the University toward the future will provide thoughtful and progressive leadership with a firm and steady hand. I was a student from 1985-1989 during your tenure as Dean of Men and professor of political science and I think I speak for many alumni from that era who are absolutely thrilled to have you at the helm of Sewanee. We have been buzzing all week with excitement, awaiting and hoping for this incredible news -- I actually screamed with joy when my college roommate sent me this announcement via text (naturally accompanied by a purple heart). Welcome home to you and Phoebe and your extended family! We look forward to supporting you and the university as you lead Sewanee toward what will undoubtedly be a very bright future. #YSR #EQB Laura Millard Ladd, C'89

Rufus Wallingford

They finally got it right. Should have happened years ago. My best to you and Phoebe

Chrissy Irvine

I'm delighted to see this news and know that Dr. Pearigen will make a lasting, positive impact on the Sewanee community. All the best, Chrissy Lewis Irvine, C '94

David Clough

Rob, Welcome back! David David Clough A’57 C’62 359 Florida Ave Sewanee, TN 37375

Zach Goodyear

Welcome back, Phoebe & Rob! What incredible news! Sewanee is in such good hands, so thank you for your willingness to serve! And now I’m off to retrain myself from calling you Dean P :-)

Lauren Asher Smith c'02

Welcome back Dean Pearigen! So glad to have you back on the mountain to lead the University forward - your angel guided you back!

Heather Haney Eley

We are so thrilled to see the news from the mountain today! Congratulations and welcome back! Cannot wait to see your faces and catch up in Sewanee in the future! Thinking of the first time we met, when Phoebe found me in the audience after Perpetual Motion. I was a prospective student and you sought me out to really give me a true Sewanee welcome. You both were so kind to have me in your home on numerous occasions, as well as my parents, during my four years on the mountain, while Dean P was, well, Dean :). So extremely happy for your family and our Sewanee family! So deserved! (Heather Haney Eley and Daniel Eley, c’07)

Chris Kirchen C'64, P'15 1964
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Hi Rob, Congratulations on your election to be the 18th Vice Chancellor and President of Sewanee. While we have never met, your background, experience, and reputation make you the perfect person to lead Sewanee during the next leg of its journey. I look forward to learning more about your plans. Chris Kirchen C'64, P'15...and a fellow Memphian, Central High School C'60

Logan Browning
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Dear Rob, Delighted to hear this news, so long overdue. Looking forward to catching up personally before too long. It will be wonderful to have you back on the Mountain, especially in such an important role at such a challenging time. Warmest regards to you, Phoebe, and your entire family, Logan

susan tipler

Our family received the rumor regarding your return to Sewanee with JOY!

Earnie Lumpkins

Welcome home.

Kellie Jaffrey Purdy

This is the best news! I was so blessed to have the Pearigens at Sewanee and I am excited for the future this next generation will have under his leadership. I am thrilled to get to reconnect with them on The Mountain. Thank you Pearigens for all you do and are.

Adair Ewin Faust

GREAT NEWS Rob!! So happy for you and Phoebe and Sewanee! - Adair

Boo Gemes 2015

Welcome back to the Mountain. Exciting new beginnings for you and for the school. Look forward to meeting you both some time soon. All the best, Boo Gemes

Barbara Stine Harrell

Congratulations Rob and Phoebe!!! What wonderful news - It will be a true joy to see you back in Sewanee! Barb Harrell

Carey P Burnett
Alumnus/alumna, Friend, Graduate of C’73

Dear Rob and Phoebe , Oh , Happy Day ! Congratulations on returning to UTS as OUR Vice Chancellor , and thank you sincerely for your continued service and love to Sewanee . CHEERS ! Carey Parker Burnett C’73

Harry Hoffman
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Great news Rob! I saw some pictures of you last week as I was reading about Millsaps College on their website while streaming their game with the Sewanee basketball game to my home in Iowa (where I have been on the faculty at the U of Iowa for 30+ years). I hope to see you on the mountain Harry

Jennifer Michael
Alumnus/alumna, Faculty

Congratulations, Rob, and welcome back to the Mountain! I look forward to working with you as our beloved university faces the challenges ahead.

Katherine Nielsen Currin

Dear VC Pearigen, I am so grateful that you are coming home! Please let me know how I can be of service to you and our beloved University. Sincerely, Katherine

Leila Miles & Jackson Capes

Congratulations! Welcome (back) to Sewanee, VC! - Leila Miles C’21 & Jackson Capes C’20

Bill and Barbara Stafford
Dean Emeritus of S of T

What wonderful news!!! We are rejoicing!!! You and Phoebe are so deeply loved and respected! Welcome home and God bless you!

Antonio E. Momplet
Faculty, Parent

Dear Robert, Let me express my own and my family´s deepest congratulations for your election as Vice-Chancellor. I am not sure if you remember me, but we met when I was invited professor at Sewanee for the Spanish and Art History Departments several times between 1989 and 2010, and some other times after that. Besides, me and my wife, Rocio, have been partly responsible since 1995 of the Sewanee programs in Spain. Also, as part of our deep connection to Sewanee, Carmen, our daughter is now a student in college. Please receive our very best regards at this very happy moment. Antonio, Rocio and Carmen

Bayard Snowden

Rob- This fantastic news received today thrills all of us who have known you and admired your great work at Millsaps and Sewanee. Welcome back! Bayard Snowden C’72

John Elrod

Dr. Pearigen, Congratulations on your appointment as Vice-Chancellor. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Mountain. Best of luck to you in the transition. Best regards, John Elrod C'97

Croom Beatty’60

What wonderful news, We have looked forward to it for a long time. Sewanee is blessed to have your return. Croom Beatty

William Shealy

Welcome! I look forward to meeting and working with you both.

Jim Andrews 2016 and 1984
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Welcome. Best wishes for a smooth start. So glad you have Sewanee history as a student and a parent. I look forward to common sense leadership focused on the basics. I know you can’t please everyone and have the experience to navigate diverging views. Look forward to meeting you.

Fran Summerlin

I am thrilled with this announcement!! You will be just what we need at the University. Congratulations and welcome back!! Cheers, Fran

Amy Atcheson Evans

You know that deeply satisfying click when a gear locks into place, completing the system and it all starts moving fluidly? That’s what I felt today with this beautiful announcement. Welcome home, Rob and Phoebe. Your alums are so very happy to have you.

Michelle Mauthe Harvey

Rob - so excited to learn that you will be Sewanee’s next VC. What a standard bearer for the class of ‘76! It’s such a dynamic time for small, liberal arts institutions - given your experience at Millsaps, Sewanee is so fortunate to have you back on campus in the leadership role. Congratulations!

Dan Walls

Dr. Pearigen, What wonderful news. Sewanee is where you belong. I am thrilled for you and even more excited for Sewanee! Best, Dan Walls Marist School

Bryan Davis

Welcome back to you and Phoebe! This is refreshing news indeed. Many feel Sewanee has struggled to find her footing in the past few years, and I believe you could help usher her fully into the modern world. Sewanee is lucky to have you (again), and I look forward to seeing you at reunions. Please forgive me in advance, I’ll always call you “Dean Pearigen.”

Eddie Krenson

Rob, Congratulations on your appointment! My wife, Martha, and I live in Monteagle and we will support you in any way we can.

Robert Smith
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Dr. Pearigen, We received the announcement of your return to the Mountain with great joy! Hearty congratulations! I am confident that you are the right man for the job, and that you and your wife will continue to be a blessing to Sewanee. My family and I moved back to Franklin County in 2021, and so I look forward to seeing you in person soon. In the meantime, you and Mrs. Pearigen have our prayers. His grace is sufficient for you. In His Grace, Robert and Lindsey Smith C'08

Katrina Parkinson ‘04, ‘11, ‘13

Welcome home Dean Pearigen and Phoebe! Your many friends and admirers in Richmond, VA are celebrating the news of your appointment. Back on the Mountain is the best place to be! Always with deepest appreciation, Katrina Parkinson

Mike & Suzanne Graham C '76
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Such wonderful news and the perfect fit!. Welcome back to Sewanee. We know these will be your best years ever. Sewanee is lucky and blessed to have you. Hope to see you soon.

William N. McKeachie C’66
Alumnus/alumna, Parent, PBK, BA, Quondam Church Relations, 3xParent

Salutations and Kudos! None too soon! This 79-year-old has, in recent years, found myself repeatedly disappointed, even alienated, in various ways. Hoping and praying you’re the longed-for ‘back to the future’ rebuilder of the ‘ruins’ (apologies to Tillinghast!). ‘For things to remain the same, things must change’ (Lampedusa). Blessings, William

Taylor Jetmundsen

I am beyond thrilled that you are returning to the Domain and I look forward to seeing you and your whole family there!

Christina Clark Roberts

So glad that you’re coming back to the mountain as our new Vice- Chancellor! As a former student, I have been hoping that this was in the University’s future for many years. Looking forward to seeing you when I return to the Mountain.

Rebecca (Pitts) Bornac

I’m so happy to see both Dr. And Mrs Pearigen back at Sewanee. He has always been an inspiring leader and I have no doubt that future students will benefit from both of their kindness and integrity.

Dana Johnson 2022

I would like to join all of the others in congratulating you on your selection as the next vice chancellor and president of The University of the South at Sewanee. The University and the overall community of Sewanee has a very special place in my heart that developed quickly after my son started his studies there in 2018 and continued to grow over the years through his graduation in 2022. It is truly a very special place and I look forward to seeing the great things that you will accomplish there to the greater benefit of the University and the community as a whole. Once again, congratulations!

Erika Paredes

So excited to welcome you back to the mountain! Can’t wait to see the great things you do for our beautiful community.

Deanna Eure
EfM Diocese Coordinator for MS

Welcome back to Sewanee. Prayers and best wishes for a long and blessed tenure. I am not an Alumnus, but as Diocese Coordinator for MS, have developed a great love and respect for the time and talent taken to promote the Education for Ministry program throughout the United States and the World, very much as the apostle Paul was able to do and as you are able to do though your work on the Mountain. God Bless, Deanna Eure

Cathy Carlisi 2025
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Welcome home!

John Hendry

Congratulations, Rob! Already praying for your and your wife’s new roles at Sewanee! John Hendry College Station, TX.

Sarah and Doug Murray 2027
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Dear Rob and Phoebe, We could not be happier at the news of your return to Sewanee! Our daughter, Julie, officially accepted her offer of admission to Sewanee this past Friday, and just when we thought things could not get any better, we received this amazing news. We cannot wait for her to meet you and to have the privilege of being in such a special place with two of our favorite people from our time there. Thank you for your continued dedication to Sewanee and best wishes for a remarkable and productive tenure in your new roles. Very best wishes to all the Pearigens!

Marie Ferguson
Friend, Former employee, community member & business owner

Congratulations! We are so thrilled to have you all back full time. Look forward to having you at the helm.

Bill (and Michelle) Fasel
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Congratulations! We are so happy for you and Phoebe—and for the whole Sewanee community.

The Rev Garron Daniels 2023

Welcome back home to Sewanee and congratulations on your election to be our new Vice Chancellor! May God lead you, bless you, and fill you with his grace. Praying for you and your family as you prepare for this next step in life and Christ's ministry!

Deborah R Clark

Robert and I are so excited to know you are coming back to Sewanee. We look forward to being back on the Mountain soon, and personally thank you. Congratulations and thank you!!

Mindy Melton
Alumnus/alumna, Local

Dear Rob and Phoebe, Welcome back! I am so pleased to see this announcement. I’ve been thinking of you recently, so this was a pleasant surprise! Congratulations to Sewanee for such a fine choice!

Hal and Cathy Rahn 1976/2004
Alumnus/alumna, Parent, Friend

Welcome back and Gods speed to you both. Our excitement can only be matched by our thanksgiving for you both. Hope to see you soon. Harold and Cathy

Thomas Lakeman

During the last three searches I have received a questionnaire asking what sort of person Sewanee should seek for its next Vice Chancellor, and I always give the same two replies: "Someone who knows how to listen" and "Someone who knows they are not just leading a college but a community." In choosing you, I know they have found just such a person. As someone who has known Sewanee as a student, a resident, a professor, and an administrator, you contain that community within you. Speaking as a Theatre major, I am so delighted that Phoebe will be back among us. Together with your family and this wondrous academic village, I know you will achieve great things. If there is anything I can do do support you, I am at your service. Welcome home.

Emily Allen

Dean Pearigen: When I received the email earlier this afternoon announcing your election as Vice Chancellor, it was like the feeling you have when you lose something meaningful for awhile, and then magically your neighbor calls and says he found it under his sofa, or in the pocket of an old coat you’d borrowed. A beloved thing, briefly misplaced, now home again. What a relief. I know I speak for many when I say that you embody the very spirit of Sewanee — its values, its principles, its manners, its reverence. The University community far and wide is blessed to have you back on the Mountain, and I wish you the very best with what will no doubt be an effortless rise to the occasion. Home again, indeed. What a relief. YSR, Emily Allen Los Angeles

Raquel and Mike Newton 2023, 2026

My husband and I are not Sewanee alum, but both of our daughters are there right now and we LOVE Sewanee! Now we love it even more! Congratulations and welcome back. I've read nothing but wonderful things about you and look forward to three more great years. We wish you all the best!

Sarah Miers

Welcome back! This is really a thrilling moment for all who love Sewanee.

Doug Dye
Other Resident/Former Sewanee business owner

I am thrilled with this selection. Welcome home Rob and Phoebe! I look forward to seeing you back in Sewanee!

Nick and Robin Gilliam

Dear Phoebe and Rob, We so well remember our shock and delight of your traveling from Sewanee to Dallas on Christmas Eve of 2002 for our son's memorial service and your having a marvelous dinner party for us at your beautiful home in the tree tops after the memorial service at Sewanee in January. We also remember your telling us that your daughter thought you should leave Sewanee so she could attend college there. I see from the announcement that she and your son graduated from Sewanee. Our heartiest congratulations to Sewanee for getting you back Nick and Robin Gilliam

Albert Gooch
StaffParent, Friend

Congratulations, Rob Glad I made that visit to Memphis

Dannie Sherrill ‘24 and ‘26

Our two sons are currently attending Sewanee. We are from Florida but the moment they set foot on the Domain they fell in love. Our oldest son arrived on campus in 2020 so subsequently there have been ups and downs to his experience (but mostly ups). We are so grateful for your willingness and desire to lead this amazing and very special place of learning. Reading about your experiences and the comments of others who know you we say “thank you” and welcome home.

Thomas S Tisdale
Alumnus/alumna, Former Regent

Welcome and a hearty Thank You!

Geraldine Hewitt Piccard
Staff, Friend

Welcome home Phoebe and Rob. Best wishes to our new VC.

Elise Spainhour

Welcome home, Rob and Phoebe! So happy for you and for Sewanee! Looking forward to seeing you. John and Elise

Kim Giles Strickland

Welcome home!! YSR!

Kathy Masterson Tom ‘89, Kathy ‘89, Sydney ‘20, Annie ‘24
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Welcome home to the mountain Dean Pearigen! WOW! What a perfect choice as our next VC!! You are a natural servant leader with the knowledge of our unique campus and community. We face challenges as a greater Sewanee family and you hold the right balance of traits to lead us into the future in a healthy manner. YSR & EQB! Kathy & Tom Masterson

Ralph Smith
Parent, Friend, Father of Robert Smith, (‘08); former Chancellor of Diocese of Alabama (under Rt. Rev. Henry Parsley), Member of College Visiting Committee.

Welcome back home Rob and Phoebe.

Stuart PIerson

Dean P, Over the moon to hear you will be running the show!!!! Goosebumps stuff to have you, both, setting the agenda and executing same. The right man at the right time (kudos to the Regents for getting this one right!) So many memories I have of you as a fair, kind, and earnest gentleman. Thank you for all you did for me, during my time on the Mountain, and all you will do for everyone else in the future! (Hi to Phoebe!). Peace and blessings, Stuart '90

Christa Shoemaker Payne

Dr. Pearigen, Congratulations on your appointment as Vice Chancellor! As a freshman in the fall of 1994, I became ill and was hospitalized during the Pre. You and Phoebe both visited me in the Winchester hospital. You made me feel so safe when I was alone and scared, away from home for the first time. I have told this story to my children every time we visit the Mountain, impressing upon them "You want to go to a school where the Dean of Students is as involved and caring as Dean Pearigen was to me." The Mountain is lucky to have you return as VC. My daughter, a high school junior (and dancer- any chance Phoebe will teach again?!), is considering Sewanee and your appointment helps move Sewanee to the top of her list. Best of luck to you on this exciting new journey! Christa Shoemaker Payne, Class of '98

Beth Christian Groves

We are all so thrilled by this news! Congratulations, and welcome home.

Meg Lines Thrash

Welcome back to Sewanee- and stay awhile!

Patty Willett Rhyne C’04, C’07,C’07
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Rob and Phoebe, I want to add my congratulations to you both and join the rest of the Sewanee family in welcoming you home! The girls and I were so excited to learn of your election. You both meant so much to our family when Anna became the first of us to matriculate. We look forward to seeing you both soon and welcoming you back in person! Blessings, Patty

Sukey Byerly 2018
Staff, Parent, Friend

You already know how glad Don and I are that you and Phoebe accepted the invitation to guide Sewanee (both the community and university). You both are shining stars. Georgie C18 is delighted also.

Helen Davis Britton

Thrilled that you and Phoebe are back! Thank you for rescuing Sarah Bauman and me as totally lost tired freshmen on our never ending jog and giving us a ride back to campus! We’ve never forgotten that. And thank you for agreeing to come back and lead Sewanee. I am beyond thrilled. Love, Helen Britton ‘92

John S. Rogers, Jr. (Stan)

Welcome back to The Mountain! The University will be a better place with you back where you belong.

Helen Stapleton 1990 (me) 2018 (daughter)
Alumnus/alumna, Staff, Parent

Our family is so happy that y'all will be here at Sewanee again. My niece said you were such an inspirational mentor while she was at Millsaps. I'm sure that you helped give her the intern and research experience to succeed at Yale law school. I also have great memories of Phoebe's ballet classes when I was a student at Sewanee. Welcome!

Rick Womack


Jeff Muench

So excited for you and the University. Welcome home!

Michael Shannon

Congrats Rob! I'm excited about this news and know you will do an outstanding job. All the best, Michael Shannon Class of '74

Cristy Beasley Cass
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Dear Rob and Phoebe --- I could not be more thrilled that you are coming back to the Mountain!!! It has never felt the same without you and your gorgeous family these past few years!!! I am so happy and will make a point to say hello when I visit, as I so love to do! You are the best and the University is so lucky to have you!!! xoxo Cristy Beasley Cass ('97)

Robert Hood 1966
Alumnus/alumna, Parent, Friend

Rob congratulations you will be a fantastic VC. Sewanee is lucky to get you as it Vice Chancellor . Bernie and I send our congratulations and best wishes to you and your family. All the best , Bobby

Sarah Skinner

Dear Vice-Chancellor and Mrs. Pearigen, I am so thrilled to hear of your return to the Mountain. The dedication you both have for the University and the student body has always been evident and it profoundly impacted me as a student from 2003-2007. I will forever remember your leadership and the care you put into student development and growth. All the best and a warm "Welcome back!" YSR! Sarah (Simmons) Skinner C'07

Jim Tully

Great choice! Glad to have you back!

Jesse Anna Bornemann

Welcome back to Sewanee, Dr. Pearigen! I'm the assistant director of annual giving and alumni relations for the School of Theology, and I'm looking forward to meeting you! There was such a palpable sense of joy and excitement following your election yesterday—it warmed the chilly afternoon. (As a fan of Fred Rogers, it made me happy to hear "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" playing on the bells shortly following the Trustees' meeting!) I wish you and your family an easy move from Mississippi and a fun time relearning all the nooks and crannies of the Mountain.

William Brown Patterson
Alumnus/alumna, Faculty, Staff, Friend

Your presentation was moving and inspiring, Rob. I am so glad you and Phoebe will be here this coming summer. Do continue to teach whenever your duties permit. All best wishes, Brown

Tony & Lisa Gilliam
Past employees

Congratulations and Welcome! So looking forward to see how you are going to turn the University around.

David Brewer

Welcome back! I am excited to have you at the helm of our ship. Congratulations and best wishes.

Catherine Alley Pollard
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

VC Pearigen, I emailed the search committee in July saying I wanted to nominate you for the position because I personally thought you should have been elected 10 yrs ago and I just wanted to make a point. I was certain the University had lost you forever to Millsaps and when I heard the news that you were indeed the next VC I could have cried. You and Phoebe were such an integral part of my time at Sewanee and my experience would not be the same without you. I will always remember our time spent working together on the Orientation Committee, the dinners you hosted at your amazing house and the way you led my peer group as Dean of Students. When it came to conflict we knew we could always count on you to see both sides of the situation and to listen to students. When disciplinary action was needed you were always fair and compassionate. You were fondly called “Dean P” by all students because of your values and the way you related to us as students. The humble way you lead and the way you relate to students and alumnae will be essential to leading Sewanee through the challenges it faces. I know you will be able to embrace the University’s rich traditions and history while also acknowledging that there are things that need to change. You will be able to do it in a way that does not alienate any particular group and brings current students, alumnae, Board of Regents, faculty and staff together to lead Sewanee into the future. I know Big John was stomping, clapping and carrying on in Heaven that his beloved University finally got it right by electing his dear friend as VC. I cannot wait to see you on the Mountain and as of today I will rejoin the never ending succession of benefactors and begin giving again to Sewanee as I now wholeheartedly agree with the direction it is going. Much love and all the best, Catherine Alley Pollard

Lauren Watts Buchner

Hello Rob, I was in the class of ‘76 as well. Congratulations on your new position!

Lyn Wells

Welcome home, “Dean,” I mean, Vice-Chancellor and Mrs. Pearigen! It will be wonderful to have you back on the Mountain. YSR!

Rob Steinfeld 2027
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Congrats. Well deserved. Appreciating hiring from long-time Sewanee presence.

Mike Flatt

Welcome back to the Mountain, Rob! I am thrilled for you, the university, the faculty, the students, and all us alumni who are so ecstatic about your return. Our beloved university is in great hands. YSR!

Mary Carol Harris 1996

I can’t imagine a better choice than Rob Pearigen to lead Sewanee through the challenges ahead. Not only has he always cared deeply about Sewanee, but he has always cared deeply about students, their development and their lives. I became a better student and person with his mentorship. I am forever grateful to have been close to him and his family during my time on the Mountain. Congratulations !

Patrick Burke

Dean P, Congratulations on your appointment as Vice Chancellor at Sewanee! I have great memories of you and Eric Hartman supporting and mentoring our close group of friends during our time at Pomfret. We are excited you are returning to the Mountain! Congrats! - Patrick Burke, Class of 2006

Rob Crichton

Our Sewanee is indeed blessed to have as eighteenth Vice Chancellor a person endowed with exceptionally good character. Rob thank you for wanting to come back to Sewanee. Hallelujah! YSR Rob Crichton class 71

Sidney Short Fagan

Welcome back to the mountain. You are exactly the perfect solution that Sewanee needs right now. Thank you for saying yes!!

Horace Carter

Literally could not be happier about this. Welcome back!

Johnny Hughes

Welcome home Rob, great to have you back .

Robert Black 1964
Alumnus/alumna, Parent

Rob (if I may), I’m told you have an interest in the US Constitution. You might be interested in reading “Justice Deferred” by Vernon Burton and Armand Derfner, (Belknap, Harvard, 2021). I’m using it in my advanced course in constitutional law at the Charleston School of Law. It shows that post Civil War decisions of the SCt give rise to Jim Crow. My father spent his academic career teaching as a professor at Birmingham-Southern College, and I grew up on the campus. BSC is a cautionary tale for Sewanee, it seems. So, please reduce the influence of the Church over the College (the tale is wagging the dog), and reduce the number of administrators and their salaries. (The president of Montana State University in Bozeman where I live permanently makes the same salary for leading 16,000 students as does the vice chancellor at Sewanee for leading 1600.) …et quam iucundun….

Rick Dew
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Dear Rob, Lisa and I are so happy for you, Phoebe, Caroline, and Wesley and all of your Sewanee family. I and many of your Sewanee friends have waited for this beautiful day since graduation, May 23, 1976. Almost too many goose bumps--just the best news! If anyone has earned this job, it is you. I doubt you have ever had a hammer in your hand, but you have been a builder for the 50 years I have been privileged to know you. I have always admired what a positive influence you have been on so many lives. The Sewanee cheering section at your Millsaps installation could barely contain itself--not sure about this time. Four Sewanee Vice-Chancellors were there in Jackson to support you that day. I suspect four or five former Sewanee Vice-Chancellors will be in Sewanee to support you this time. I think even Ted Nugent would approve. We look forward to seeing you both in Sewanee. Rick & Lisa

Rob Crichton
Alumnus/alumna, Friend

Our Sewanee is indeed blessed to have as eighteenth Vice Chancellor a person who is endowed with extraordinarily good character. Rob thank you for wanting to come back to Sewanee. Hallelujah! YSR Rob Crichton class71

Katherine Menke Holmes

I am so excited you two will be back on the mountain! What a blessing you will be to the entire Sewanee community! I know you will lead well and am beyond thrilled for the university. Thank you both for serving in your new roles!

Andrew (Andy) Beaty C’74

Congrats to Rob AND Sewanee. Rob, you were one of the best while I was at Sewanee. Glad you’ve made it ‘home’.

Julie King Murphy
Alumnus/alumna, Former staff member

Welcome home Rob and Phoebe!! Bryan and I are so pleased to learn this news! All the best, Julie C’89 & Bryan C’88 Julie King Murphy and Dr. R. Bryan Murphy

James Freeman

Who best to guide us into the future but one grounded in the rich heritage our past? Congratulations, Rob Pearigen! Jim Freeman C’75.

Robert Maedgen III

I will always know you as Dean Pearigen. I’m very excited about your return to the Mountain! Thank you for coming home to lead us forward. Ecce Quam Bonum!

Cindy Boatwright

Oh my gosh. I couldn't be more delighted. I have not been in touch with Rob for many years but know him to be a wonderful man and human being and the perfect "face" for the Sewanee community. Rob is humble and compassionate. He will make an exemplary Vice-Chancellor. Congratulations to Rob and Phoebe and to those who had the wisdom to select him. Cindy Boatwright C' 74.

Father Ralph Howe

Rob, I am overjoyed at your new role as Vice-Chancellor at Sewanee. With two of my daughters graduating from Millsaps, I saw how you transformed that institution. Since you graduated from Sewanee two years before I did, I remember your leadership as a student, and later when I served on the Board of Trustees, representing the Diocese of Louisiana. That you so much for accepting this post, and serving at a school that so many of us love a great deal.....Father Ralph Howe, Jr (retired), Class of 1978

Josh D'Alemberte

Welcome back to the mountain Dean Pearigen! I hope to come visit you soon! I'll always remember how you helped me with a difficult roommate situation in my freshman year. Much love, Josh D'Alemberte Class of 1994

Wanda Webb Everett

I was overjoyed to hear the announcement of your return to Sewanee. God bless you as you prepare to lead Sewanee into a new and exciting chapter. You both have respect by all who know you. Phoebe will be a marvelous First Lady!

Winston B Charles

Rob, we welcome you back to the Mountain as Vice-Chancellor and President. With such experience in administrative leadership and with special knowledge and affection for Sewanee, you will no doubt bring so very much to this place and institution. May you lead us into the future, welcoming all to our community, preparing young women and men for effective living and leadership, so that our communities and country and the world might become more of what it is called to be. May Phoebe and your family know that they also are warmly welcomed, with great respect, knowing that they also will offer much to life on the Mountain. Thank you.

Jonathan Webster

Rob, Mary and I wish you the heartiest congratulations on your election as VC! We're happy for you and for the Sewanee community, on and off the Mountain. We hope to congratulate you in person at some point in the coming year, but until then, we wish you the best winding down at Millsaps and gearing up at Sewanee! Best, Jonathan Webster, C'93

Jack Biggers
FriendOther Alumnus. L963


Richard Courtney

Welcome home. I do not envy the work you have ahead of you; however, I am confident that you will prevail. You are the person needed for this position at this critical time. I join the legions who are thrilled with your decision to lead the University. We are grateful for your commitment.

Robert Scott 1957

Welcome to the fold!

Jeff McMahan

Hello Rob, I'm really delighted that Sewanee will be in your hands for a while. Warmest congratulations! I hope to see you again on my next visit to the Mountain. All best wishes, Jeff

Pat (Appy) Apperson

Rob, Congratulations!!! The best decision Sewanee has made since they let you go to Millsaps. You have a challenge ahead of you, but there is not anyone better suited for the task than you. Good luck and I can now return to the Mountain after a long absence with confidence that things may head in a positive direction. App Class of ‘83 and fellow Alpha Alpha alum