about the sewanee parents' council

The Sewanee Parents’ Council is a group of active parents who invest relationally and financially so that the Sewanee family can grow and flourish.

The Council fosters a spirit of community both on and off the Mountain by:

  • Serving as liaisons for parents of current students to communicate ideas, questions, and concerns to the University
  • Sponsoring and/or hosting Sewanee-related events and activities
  • Providing financial support for student programs and educational experiences
  • Offering leadership, career, and internship opportunities to students
  • Recommending prospective students for admission

Serving on the Sewanee Parents' Council provides parents with the opportunity to meet and engage with administrators, faculty, staff, and a broad segment of parents and students about issues related to the Sewanee experience. Through two in-person, on campus meetings each year—one in the fall during Family Weekend and one in the spring—parents learn the latest Sewanee news and information, provide important feedback, and enjoy building relationships with other Sewanee families.



Whether taking part in the Council or supporting Sewanee in other ways, parents play an essential role in fostering EQB—the sense of kindred care and respect that defines campus life.

Gifts to the Sewanee Parents' Fund make a day-to-day difference for all students by strengthening the spaces, activities, programs, and people that form the University. Parents can maximize the impact of their giving by customizing their support to align with their student's interests and experiences.



Margo and Steve Burns, Chairs

On behalf of the Sewanee Parents’ Council, welcome! We are so glad that your child has chosen Sewanee as their home for the next four years. We are Margo and Steve Burns and we have the honor of serving as the current Chairs of the Sewanee Parents’ Council. 

We both grew up in the northeast where we attended small liberal arts colleges. In 2000, we relocated to the Chicago-land area where we have lived for 23 years. Three out of four of our children found their fit on the Mountain: Henry, C’19, Emma, C’24, and Abby, C’26. Our oldest daughter, Maddie, felt called to a much larger and equally wonderful school, the University of Colorado in Boulder. We mention this because nothing is more important than discovering and settling into a place that nurtures your potential, and, fortunately for all of us, your child has found a home here at Sewanee.

While most of you have already witnessed the unparalleled beauty of the campus and its domain, you may not have experienced the unique culture that lies beneath its charming exterior. That picture will begin to be colored through texts, posts, and photos from your child, as well as your own first-hand experiences when you visit. With a population of just over 1,700 students, Sewanee offers the opportunity for parents to establish relationships that will last long after your child graduates. 

The aim of the Sewanee Parents’ Council is to strengthen the Sewanee family by cultivating and maintaining connections between alumni, students, and friends on and off the Mountain. Sewanee is a truly magnificent place which attracts a diverse group of people, and serving on the Council has solidified our love of this community. For the students, Sewanee’s small population encourages an environment of respect, accountability, and a genuine level of comradery. That comradery will follow your child throughout their lives both by the opening of doors professionally as well as through long-lasting friendships. Henry and his college friends travel from all over the country one to two times a year to meet for a weekend. The group widens as they add spouses and significant others, and it is truly amazing to witness. They have forged a bond that will last forever. 

The other benefit of the small student population is the administration's genuine desire to hear actionable comments, compliments, and concerns regarding your child’s experience here on the Mountain. As part of the Parents’ Council, we’ve had the opportunity to engage directly with administrators and department leaders on a regular basis. And after more than a decade on the Council, I can attest to the Sewanee leadership’s unique ability to listen and act on the items that we bring forward. But that all starts with us—the parents—and our desire to make our child’s experience a life-changing development. 

We encourage all of you to get involved whether it be through your student’s athletic team, academic department, or other extracurricular activities. Begin to forge your own relationships on the Mountain. Attending a tailgate, engaging in a conversation at the Shakerag Pub, or over breakfast at the Blue Chair, we all have something in common with the person sitting next to us. This will allow you to gain a better understanding of the culture and enable you to be part of important and ongoing discussions as Sewanee continues to evolve.

Enjoy this amazing time and place in your child’s life, and please consider joining us on the Council. We think you’ll be surprised to see just how special the Mountain becomes to you. We look forward to seeing you on campus very soon.

-Margo and Steve Burns, P'19, P'24, P'26

Allison and Webb Cochran, Vice-Chairs

Hello, Sewanee parents! We’re Allison and Webb Cochran—parents to Smith, C’25, and Holt, who is pursuing his graduate degree in Washington, DC. We live in Dallas, TX where Webb is Senior Director of Government Relations for Tenet Health and Allison is Executive Director at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. We both have liberal arts degrees and value the critical thinking, writing skills and versatility that are found in Sewanee graduates. We love Sewanee and its community, and we’re excited to be part of the Sewanee Parents’ Council.

-Allison and Webb Cochran, P'25

Upcoming Meeting Dates:

Friday, March 1, 2024

Friday, September 27, 2024

For questions or further information about the Sewanee Parents' Council, contact


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