In the wake of national protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody, Vice-Chancellor John McCardell, Dean of Students Marichal Gentry, the Deans of the School of Theology, and the Office of the Dean of the College sent messages to students, faculty, and staff. Student organizations made powerful statements of support for racial justice.

“Make no mistake: Your University recognizes the pain and grief recent events have caused for many members of the Sewanee family. We reaffirm our commitment as an institution, as our baptismal liturgy states, to ‘strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.’”

“…the legacies left by countless leaders of past generations were ones of hope—the hope that young people would pick up the stained banner and lead us toward a better, more just world. You all as Sewanee students have tremendous power and privilege to do that with leadership, determination, and sheer will.”

“We write to affirm our commitment to equity and inclusion and to condemn these and all acts of violence, prejudice, and hatred.”

“Sewanee strives to uphold EQB: dwelling in unity means standing up for one another and speaking out. Do what you can. Black Lives Matter.”

“African American history is not a lesser part or sidelight of American history. African American history is American history.”

"We cannot speak for everyone, but we will speak for us: We will do better." 

Read the full statements below.

Message from the vice-chancellor

Vice-Chancellor John McCardell sent a message to students, encouraging them to be inspired by difficult times.

The School of Theology offers a message to the University community

Dean Alexander, along with Associate Deans Turrell, Jackson, and Kling sent a message to the University community.

Dean of Students' letter to Sewanee students

Dean Marichal Gentry sent a powerful personal letter to students.

Letter from the Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation

The Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation sent a letter to campus about current events.

Statement by the Sewanee Police Department

SPD shares its commitment to providing a safe environment for all members of the community and condemns racism and prejudice in all their forms.

Letter from School of Theology's Diversity and Reconciliation Committee

Students, faculty, and staff of the School of Theology express their grief, outrage, and commitment to respond.

Pastoral letter from the Chancellor

The Rt. Rev. Robert S. Skirving, chancellor of the University, has written a pastoral letter to the people of his diocese and incorporated a statement from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Province IV, which includes bishops from many of the University's owning dioceses.

Statements from University offices

University offices that work most closely with students have offered statements of support.