Following a challenging spring, the University administration is engaged in preparation for the next academic year. Their actions thus far anticipate a normal opening for fall semester.

Following a challenging spring, the University administration is engaged in preparation for the next academic year. A Fall Operational Group has begun planning based on several potential scenarios for this fall. Vice-Chancellor-elect Reuben Brigety, who will take office on June 16, also is participating in these planning sessions. Their actions thus far, such as conducting registration for fall classes and holding room draw for returning students, anticipate a normal opening for fall semester.

“Sewanee plans to welcome students to campus this fall. We know, however, that our plans may need to be modified as we learn more about COVID-19 and its effects locally, in Tennessee, and nationwide,” said Vice-Chancellor John McCardell. “We are planning carefully for a variety of contingencies, and we will be prepared to deal with whatever may come our way.”

Dr. Walter Merrill, C’70, an eminent physician and senior associate chief of staff at Vanderbilt University Hospital, is assisting the University in the planning process. Merrill’s experience, insights, and knowledge are helping administrators make informed decisions and inspire confidence that the environment in which faculty, staff, and students live and work will be safe.

Work on capital projects has continued though the spring. A new University Bookstore and new Wellness Commons will welcome students when they arrive on campus, and the Sewanee Review, School of Letters, and Writers’ Conference will also have a new home.

The University last year announced an expansion of its financial aid program to meet the full need of admitted students who qualify for financial aid, starting with the domestic and international first-year students who will arrive this fall (the future Class of 2024).

In the coming academic year, whatever new challenges it brings, the University of the South will continue to offer an education of uncommon quality that expresses its values and aspirations: 

  • Close relationships between students and faculty.
  • Care for the health and safety of our community. 
  • Trust in our students to make good decisions and take responsibility for them.
  • Stewardship of a uniquely beautiful natural environment.
  • Expectations of honorable behavior.
  • Acknowledgment of the need to broaden the reach of our own understanding.

“External factors beyond our control may alter, for a season, the usual Sewanee student experience. But a Sewanee education is not for a season; it is for a lifetime,” said McCardell.