Congratulations, class of 2020! We miss you.

The Convocation for the Conferral of Degrees for the College of Arts & Sciences and School of Letters had been scheduled for May 10, but that service has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While an altogether insufficient substitute, these videos and announcements express our heartfelt congratulations for your work and hopes for your future, celebrate your accomplishments, and most importantly, confirm that you have earned your degree from the University of the South.

Please know that plans are underway for a full commencement ceremony and complete slate of related activities the week of May 14th (Baccalaureate) and May 15th (Commencement) in 2022.


Baccalaureate Address

Linda Mayes, C'73, H’94, is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and the director of the Yale Child Study Center. She is also the deputy dean of the Yale School of Medicine. A native of Franklin County, Tennessee, Mayes studied pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She was in Sewanee's first class of women and was the University's first female valedictorian. She currently serves Sewanee as a distinguished visiting professor of psychology. Her Baccalaureate Address comes at the conclusion of this academic year's celebration of 50 Years of Women at Sewanee.

Conferral of Degrees

Congratulations! As of May 10, members of the Class of 2020 are graduates of the University of the South. Please enjoy this video, as the University makes it official. Be sure to watch to the end of the video when members of the faculty offer their congratulations.

Order of Service   

  • Welcome and prayer–Tom Macfie
  • Welcome remarks–John McCardell
  • Commencement awards–Nancy Berner
  • Conferral of degrees–John McCardell
  • Charge to the graduates–John McCardell
  • University Prayer–Tom Macfie
  • Congratulations from the faculty

Awards & Prizes

The announcement of almost 40 University awards and prizes is an anticipated part of the Commencement ceremony. Students are recognized for their accomplishments and leadership in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in the community, as well as for their induction into various honor societies. National awards include the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion for character, leadership, and service to the University and the Sewanee community—the University’s highest undergraduate award.