How Did Fan Culture Take Over? And Why Is It So Scary?

Reboot, the new novel by Sewanee School of Letters Director Justin Taylor earned a rave review in the New York Times Book Review. “A novelist chases reality. If our current one eludes easy capture, points are rewarded for remaining competitive with an alternate. Taylor earns lots of points. His book is, in part, a performance of culture, a mirror America complete with its own highly imagined myths. … It’s a performance full of wit and rigor.”


Recognizing this urgent moment for American higher education and our democracy, the University of the South’s Vice-Chancellor and President Rob Pearigen is joining 60 other college presidents of diverse institutions from across the country to advance higher education’s pivotal role in preparing students to be engaged citizens and to uphold free expression on campus.

Assistant Professor Lily Thompson Receives NSF CAREER Award, Largest NSF Grant In University History

Assistant Professor Lily Thompson has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the foundation’s most distinguished honor for early-career faculty members. She will receive $619,867 over five years from NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences, making this the largest NSF grant to be awarded to the University of the South in its history.

Living Two Realities

From navigating war-torn landscapes at home to pursuing an ambitious triple major at Sewanee, Kamilla Haidaienko, C’25, sets her sights on one goal: helping to shape the post-war reconstruction of her native Ukraine.

Art, Art History, and Visual Studies Program Names Guarisco Merit Scholars

The Art, Art History, and Visual Studies Program has announced the winners of the Peter V. Guarisco Merit Scholarship for the 2024-25 academic year. Kate Shackelford, C’25, was awarded the Guarisco Scholarship in Art History in recognition of excellence in coursework, writing, and engagement with questions of art history. Gabriel Williams, C’25, was awarded the Guarisco Scholarship in Art for excellence in coursework, creative production, and engagement with the visual arts. The scholarships provide both recipients with tuition for their senior year and funding for a postgraduate career preparation experience.

Assistant Professor Anne Duffee Earns Mathematical Association of America Distinguished Teaching Award

The Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA-SE) has announced the selection of Assistant Professor of Mathematics Anne Duffee for the organization’s Distinguished Teaching Award. The MAA-SE Section recognizes outstanding faculty members each year at their annual section meeting with awards for excellence in teaching and service, and the Distinguished Teaching Award is its top honor.

Professor Sherry Hamby Honored with 2024 Christine Blasey-Ford Woman of Courage Award

Since 2019, the Association for Women in Psychology has presented the Christine Blasey-Ford Woman of Courage Award to recognize and celebrate feminist leaders who have demonstrated the quality of political courage in standing up and speaking truth to power, in order to take action against injustice, discrimination, or harm.

David Haskell receives American Academy of Arts and Letters award

Sewanee Professor of Biology David Haskell, who has been selected by the American Academy of Arts and Letters to receive one of eight Arts and Letter Awards in literature for 2024. Haskell’s latest book, Sounds Wild and Broken, was also a finalist for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction and the 2023 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Tennessee Comes Back to Sewanee

A landmark staging of A Streetcar Named Desire—in Sewanee’s Tennessee Williams Center—honors the literary legacy of one of America’s greatest playwrights.


Wildly innovative, maverick golf course creator Rob Collins, C’97, leads a renaissance in course design by looking back to the history of the sport. And it all started with the world’s first “social media golf course.”

A New Campus Living Room

With the opening of Biehl Commons at the center of campus this semester, Sewanee students get a facility purpose-built for their enjoyment—a place to hang out, study, meet friends, and grab a bite. Join us for a look at what the new social commons has to offer.

Kilkenny named executive director of the New York Youth Symphony

The New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) has named John Kilkenny as executive director, effective in late March. John has served as the director of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival (SSMF) since 2018, after several years on the SSMF faculty. He first came to Sewanee as an SSMF student in 1993. John will continue in his current role as director of SSMF through the 2024 season.

Laurel Graefe to Give Bryan Viewpoints Lecture on Feb. 22

Laurel Graefe, regional executive and senior officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will visit Sewanee to discuss future trends in the Southeastern economy and monetary policy in the modern era. Graefe will give her remarks at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Torian Room at duPont Library.

Sewanee, Jessie Ball duPont Fund Build on Racial Healing Progress

Universities and philanthropic organizations across the country face significant challenges, not least of which is the polarized climate that impedes higher education’s historic role as a marketplace for ideas. On Jan. 9, the University of the South—embracing its role as a steward of its mission—joined with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to convene institution leaders, scholars, educators, and activists committed to a new future for higher education.

Simba Chakanyuka, C’18, to Give Bryan Viewpoints Lecture

The Easter 2024 Bryan Viewpoints lecture will be given by Simba Chakanyuka, C’18, vice president at BlackRock. Titled “The Opportunity to Lead with Purpose and Drive: Reflections on the Journey (so far) in Financial Services,” Chakanyuka's presentation will review current trends in the asset management industry and highlight strategic initiatives that he has led as a manager in the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) at BlackRock.


The lecture will take place on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 4:30 p.m. in the Torian Room at duPont Library.

Winter Convocation Features Talk By Professor Stephanie McCarter

The University of the South held a Winter Convocation on Friday, Jan. 19, to induct new members into the Order of the Gown and, in the establishment of a new tradition, recognize the teaching and scholarship of the faculty by featuring remarks delivered by a University professor. This year, Professor of Classical Languages Stephanie McCarter, Sewanee’s 2023 Faculty Excellence in Scholarship recipient and an award-winning scholar and translator, was selected to give the convocation address.

Tigers top rhodes at the buzzer

To kick off the weekend-long celebration of 100 Years of Basketball at Sewanee, the men’s basketball team earned a win for the ages over rival Rhodes College on Friday night. With time expiring in overtime, Russ Marr hit a three-pointer to end the back-and-forth battle and give the Tigers an 81-80 victory over the Lynx. The Centennial Celebration continues on Saturday with an alumni game and a banquet at the Sewanee Inn. YSR!

Behind the Seams with Catherine Gee, C'07

The Santa Barbara-based fashion designer draws inspiration from her art-filled life—and Sewanee education—to create a line that’s a favorite among Hollywood A-Listers.

Sewanee, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine Announce New Admissions Pathway

Reflective of a major commitment to give elite students the chance to study medicine, East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine has established a new admissions pathway program that will give two qualified seniors from the University of the South guaranteed acceptance to the college.


The Quillen College of Medicine currently has four students who are Sewanee graduates and has seen nine others graduate from Quillen in the last five years. The program will begin with applicants for the Class of 2028.

Innovative Partnership Aims for a Healthier Plateau

A Tracy City free clinic, the Sewanee alum who founded it, and a pandemic-inspired University testing laboratory join forces to take on a local health crisis.

Professor Stephanie McCarter to Give Winter Convocation Address

The University’s Winter Convocation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19, in All Saints' Chapel. New members will be inducted into the Order of the Gown, and the teaching and scholarship of the faculty will also be recognized and honored with a convocation address delivered by a member of the University faculty.


This year, Professor of Classical Languages Stephanie McCarter, Sewanee’s 2023 Faculty Excellence in Scholarship recipient and an award-winning scholar and translator, will speak at the convocation.

20th Annual Beyond the Gates: Coming Full Circle

On Jan. 12 and 13, Career Readiness will welcome students, alumni, and parents back to Sewanee for the 20th annual Beyond the Gates: Preparing for Life and Work after Sewanee. The keynote speaker for this year's program is Vishal Nehru, C’06, director of strategy and planning at Cisco.

Sewanee and Jesse Ball duPont Fund host a trust-building event

Sewanee is honored to be co-sponsoring an event with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Catalyzing Change: Frameworks for Repairing Histories of Racial Inequity is a convening of higher education institutions of all types doing the hard work to envision and create a more inclusive and equitable future for those we serve and sharing the journey of acknowledging our shared histories of racial inequity and moving toward trust-building and truth-telling.

Lunch at LUNCH: one of the most meaningful meals of 2023.

Mallory Grimm, C’15, and her crew of students and other local employees have created something special at Sewanee’s newest eatery, and folks are starting to take notice. Check out this rave review from Food as a Verb.

NSA STARTALK Grant Supports Sewanee's Chinese Language Camp

Thanks to a grant of over $200,000 from the National Security Agency’s STARTALK program, the 2024 Sewanee Chinese Language Camp will be completely free for participants. The immersive language study camp with a focus on environmental sustainability and outdoor recreation offers high-school students the opportunity to earn college credit for their participation. STARTALK grants provide funding for innovative programs with strong language learning outcomes in languages identified as being of critical need to the United States.

Outdoor magazine selects "A Forest Unseen"

For its list of “Our Favorite Outdoor Adventure Books for Every State,” Outside magazine selects Sewanee Biology Professor David Haskell’s “The Forest Unseen” to represent Tennessee: “Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau is home to uncounted bluffs, gorges, waterfalls, swimming holes—and the University of the South, a.k.a. Sewanee, a small bastion of literary all-stars, including biologist David George Haskell. In The Forest Unseen, the naturalist charts the comings and goings in a single square meter of old-growth forest over the course of a year. This is boring only in the way that Zen is boring. Yes, you sit, but it can be transformative.”

This old University van is the future

Rocco Calandruccio, C’01 (center), the founder and CEO of Current EV Motors, came to Sewanee this week to pick up this Ford Econoline and take it back to Texas, where he’ll convert it from gas-powered to electric using his company’s patented technology. (Pictured with Calandruccio are Domain Manager Nate Wilson and Sustainability Coordinator Sara McIntyre.) Sewanee has made a commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2030, and in order to reach that goal, 80% of the University's vehicle fleet will need to be converted to electric. While much of that transition will occur with the purchase of new vehicles, right now there are very few options for electrically powered passenger vans. Calandruccio’s company will be restoring one of the fleet’s oldest vans into a cutting-edge electric vehicle. Once back on campus, the van will be available for faculty and staff to use for field trips and will serve as a primary shuttle vehicle around campus for special events.


As the director of the NIL Department at the University of Georgia, recent law-school grad and former Sewanee football player Tanner Potts, C’15, is on the front line of a revolution in college sports.

Meet Makayla Williams, C’24

Meet Makayla Williams, C’24, a psychology major who created her own summer internship to launch a podcast that is amplifying diverse voices in the Sewanee community through dialogue. Read Makayla’s story, in her own words.

Wasp Whisperers

Student interns with Sewanee’s Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability work with an insect army to help save the Domain’s population of ash trees from an invasive pest.

Historic Season for Tiger Soccer

The Sewanee women’s soccer team’s season came to an end on Sunday with a second-round NCAA Tournament loss to No. 2 Washington University, but we’re celebrating the team’s historic season. The Tigers were undefeated in conference play and won both the regular-season and tournament SAA championships. They earned the first NCAA Tournament win in program history and recorded an incredible unbeaten streak of 18 games. The team’s only two losses came from then–No. 1 Johns Hopkins in the season opener and No. 2–ranked Washington University to end the record-breaking season. “When I came here in 2020, we had dreams and the belief that we could build something special here at Sewanee,” says Head Coach Greg Cathell. “Together, we have.”

Students Nominated for Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Awards

Five Sewanee students were nominated for awards by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for the recent theatrical production of Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters, presented Oct. 4-8 at the Tennessee Williams Center. The KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students annually from colleges and universities across the country.

Women's Soccer wins SAA. Headed to NCAA Tournament.

The Sewanee women’s soccer team earned a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Rhodes Lynx in the SAA Tournament championship game at Puett Field on Sunday, Nov. 5. Tournament MVP Brianna Fee scored both goals for the Tigers, including the decisive goal in the first overtime period. The win earns the Tigers a place in the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Tournament. Sewanee is headed to St. Louis to face Hanover College in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Pamela Macfie Portrait Unveiled

One of the highlights of Homecoming and Reunion Weekend this year was the unveiling of a portrait of longtime Professor of English Pamela Royston Macfie. Three of Macfie’s former students and Vice-Chancellor Rob Pearigen spoke movingly of Macfie’s impact on generations of Sewanee students to a standing-room-only crowd of colleagues, alumni, and friends in Convocation Hall. Macfie’s portrait was painted by Robert Durham.

Moses Vincent, C'25, interns with Senator Cory Booker

The Posse Foundation spotlights one its scholars, Sewanee’s own Moses Vincent, C’25, who served an internship with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker this summer. Part of Vincent’s job was to research factors that affect the mental health of Black youth—from issues of infrastructure to community to schools—to help inform legislation the senator was sponsoring.

Sewanee Soccer Saturday Sweep!

Congratulations and YSR to the Sewanee men’s and women’s soccer teams for their SAA Tournament quarterfinal wins on Puett Field on Saturday. The women beat Millsaps 3-0 while the men topped Birmingham-Southern 1-0. Both teams advance to semifinal games on Friday, Nov. 3.

U.S.D.A. research grant supports long-term study of Cumberland Plateau forests

Sewanee Professor of Biology Jon Evans and a former student, Tennessee State University professor and forest ecologist Sarah McCarthy Neumann, C’99, have been awarded a $500,000 research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue and expand their research on the ecology of upland forests of the Cumberland Plateau.

Sewanee’s Department of Athletics announces three internal promotions

Director of Athletics John Shackelford announced promotions for three individuals within the department—Carrie Austin to associate director of athletics, and Michele Dombrowski and Nick DiBernardo to assistant directors of athletics, both in addition to their coaching duties.

Community mourns the passing of George Core

We are deeply saddened to report the death of George Core, the longest-serving editor of the Sewanee Review, and a longtime friend, neighbor, teacher, and mentor to many in the Sewanee family. Core’s contributions to the advancement of American literature are known throughout the world, and his influence on writers of the past half-century is beyond measure. “To many writers now woven into the fabric of great American literature, the Sewanee Review, under Core’s leadership, was one of the most carefully edited literary quarterlies in the country. To be part of its conversation in print was an achievement. To receive that rare handwritten letter of acceptance from George Core meant he was interested in your future and in what you would contribute in the long run to the magazine and to American letters.”

The Installation of the 18th Vice-Chancellor

On Thursday, Oct. 19, in a service in All Saints' Chapel, Robert W. Pearigen was formally installed as the University of the South's 18th vice-chancellor. If you missed the livestream, you can watch it here and read more about the service.

Congratulations, Tigers!

The Sewanee women’s soccer team clinched its second straight SAA regular season title on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the 19th-ranked Centre Colonels. The Tigers wrap up the regular season vs. Belhaven on Tuesday, and then will go into the SAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed, hosting a quarterfinal match against a yet-to-be-determined opponent at home on Oct. 28.


Vice Chancellor Rob Pearigen, the Rt. Rev. Phoebe Roaf, H'20, bishop of West Tennessee, and Jon Meacham, C'91, H'10, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and political commentator, have a conversation on the interplay of the liberal arts, the church, and civil society.

A Home on the Domain

With a number of innovative new housing programs, the University is making it easier for employees to live on campus. And, in the process, it’s building the kind of community it promises to students.

Two days, two national championships!

Sewanee tennis player Jordan Theron won the men’s singles championship of the ITA Cup on Sunday, just one day after taking the doubles championship with partner Quinn Wicklund. In the singles final, Theron topped Emory’s Dean Kamenev, 6-0, 6-3.

Fall Convocation 2023

The University’s Fall Convocation was held on Friday, Oct. 6. Awards and honors were announced, and 337 new members were inducted into the Order of the Gown. Noted architect Malcolm Holzman, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, C’69, and the country's 19th poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey, were awarded honorary degrees. Bishop Robinson delivered the convocation address.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Names Two Students as Leaders-in-Residence

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has announced that Jennifer Quispe, C’25, and Stefen Rincon, C’25, have been selected as leaders-in-residence for the 2023-24 academic year. As part of the highly competitive program, Quispe and Rincon will join leaders from HACU member institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico for leadership and career development training.

Members of the Class of 2024 initiated into Phi Beta Kappa

Nine members of the Class of 2024 have been elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. The initiation ceremony was held at the University archives on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Election to Phi Beta Kappa is perhaps the most prized honor a college student can receive. Students who have demonstrated exceptional academic excellence become eligible for election after completing at least six consecutive semesters. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary; the Sewanee Chapter, Beta of Tennessee, was established in 1926.

The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, C'69, to deliver convocation address

The University’s Fall Convocation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. Three honorary degrees will be presented, awards and honors will be announced, and new members will be inducted into the Order of the Gown.

Noted architect Malcolm Holzman, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, C'69, and the country's 19th poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey will be awarded honorary degrees.

New Faculty Announced for the 2023-24 Academic Year

The Office of the Dean of the College has announced the appointment of 21 new faculty members for the 2023-24 academic year.

Tyler Vaughey, C’95, To Give Graham Executive-in-Residence Lecture

The Graham Executive-in-Residence program brings distinguished business leaders to Sewanee to offer insight into business leadership issues, meet with students, and give a public lecture. Capital One's Senior Vice President for Sales and Customer Development, Tyler Vaughey, C’95, will offer remarks titled "From the Mountain to Manhattan: My Unexpected Journey Leading Organizations in the Financial Services Industry."

Professor Elyzabeth Wilder wins prestigious Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowship

The Tennessee Arts Commission awards Individual Artist Fellowships annually to recognize and acknowledge outstanding professional Tennessee artists who, through their work, add to the state’s cultural vitality.

Two New Tenured Professors Join Politics and African and African American Studies Departments

The University of the South has welcomed two new professors as tenured members of the faculty. Clarissa Peterson joins the faculty as a professor of politics and African and African American studies. Peterson has also been appointed special assistant to the vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Emmitt Y. Riley III joins the faculty as an associate professor of politics and African and African American studies; he will also serve as the director of the African and African American Studies Program.

Inaugural Faculty Fellows Named for Two New Programs

All Saints’ Chapel, Career Readiness, and the Office of Civic Engagement have announced the inaugural recipients of two new faculty fellowships at the University: the faculty fellows for purpose and career and the faculty fellows for community engaged learning.

Fulbright Program Brings Chinese History Scholar to Sewanee

Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Yejune Chao will teach in the College, support student research, and deliver campus-wide lectures

Jenkins Darbney, C’25, Awarded 2023 Jeff Ubben Posse Fellowship

The Posse Foundation has announced that Jenkins Darbney, C’25, was selected as a 2023 Jeff Ubben Fellow. The Jeff Ubben Fellowship is among the most prestigious awards given to Posse Scholars nationwide. Darbney is the first Posse Scholar from Sewanee to be named a Jeff Ubben Fellow.

2023 Dean's Scholars Named at Commencement

At commencement on May 14, Dean of the College Terry Papillon announced the inaugural recipients of the newly implemented Dean’s Scholar award. Developed to recognize the top academic achievers of the graduating class, this year’s award was given to five graduates of the College. The 2023 Dean’s Scholars included: Elizabeth De Wetter, Alexander Robinson, Gary Satin, Madison Sellers, and Kalia Thompson.

A Leave-Taking and New Beginning

In a brief ceremony at 3 p.m. CDT in All Saints’ Chapel on Friday, June 30, the University will recognize with immense gratitude the leadership of Acting Vice-Chancellor Nancy Berner, whose service in that role will end tomorrow, while also welcoming Rob Pearigen, who will begin his term as Sewanee’s 18th vice-chancellor on Saturday, July 1. The service is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend. If you can’t be with us in person, you can tune in via livestream.

Deon Miles appointed associate dean for inclusion and faculty development

The Office of the Dean of the College is very pleased to announce that Professor of Chemistry, Deon Miles, will serve as interim associate dean for inclusion and faculty development for the 2023-2024 academic year. His appointment will begin August 1st.

Prof. Miles’ experience has prepared him well for this new role. He served as co-director of the Center for Teaching for several years after co-chairing the task force that reimagined and revitalized the CFT. Prof. Miles led the creation of many of the CFT’s now-signature programs and designed the physical space that remains in operation today.

Myles Elledge, C’85, Appointed to Advisory Group

Director of the Babson Center for Global Commerce Myles Elledge, C’85, has been invited to serve on the 15-member U.S. technical advisory group on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards for sanitation technologies. As part of the advisory group, Elledge will help to develop the U.S. position on draft international standards in the field of sustainable non-sewered sanitation systems. The U.S. group, organized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), works in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and its work to drive sanitation innovation.

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