Sewanee is full of extraordinary people with fascinating stories. Here they share those stories–in their own words.

Keisha Phillips, C’22

Politics and German double major, Student Government Association president, women’s basketball team co-captain, Admissions Arcadian, FYP mentor

I always knew I wanted to be a politics major, but the German major snuck up on me. I took a lot of German classes involving the German identity, specifically the Black German identity which is something, as a Black German, I’ve always wanted to learn about. The German Department’s curriculum revolves around diversity and Germany’s history, and I just fell in love with those classes. Being part of the department has helped me discover my identity as a Black German woman and has really piqued my interest in my own personal identity. That’s the thing I think I’ll miss most about Sewanee—being in a very supportive place that’s built me up and pushed me to go outside my comfort zone.

I spent a lot of this year reflecting on the friendships I’ve made here and how genuine they are. The answer you always hear when you ask what someone loves about Sewanee is “the community,” but it’s more than that. The support of the community and how we celebrate each other’s successes is something I don’t think you see everywhere. I really love that about Sewanee, how we care about each other. Even if we don’t agree on everything, we do care about each other as humans, as people. 

In my speech to the freshman class during orientation weekend, I stressed how important it is to put yourself out there, even if you feel like you might be wrong or you might be in an uncomfortable space. Go and put yourself out there because you might be shocked at what you find out about yourself and what you’re passionate about. I have been reflecting on how passionate I am about this place and how confident I am here. I’ve always known, in the back of my head, that I want to be a leader. Being at Sewanee has shown me that leadership is something that I love and something that I can do with confidence.

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