Thursday, December 01, 2005

sewanee: the university of the anything-but-south!

A small liberal arts university with a striking campus of sandstone buildings on the Cumberland Plateau in southeastern Tennessee, Sewanee (pronounced suh-WAH-nee) was founded by Episcopal bishops just before the Civil War and began classes in 1868.

Still owned by 28 Episcopal dioceses in the Southeast, it is a genteel place with a tradition of academic excellence, particularly in disciplines like English and religion. It is home to the Sewanee Review, a prestigious literary quarterly. For decades, all men wore ties and coats to class, and some still do. Members of the honor society, called the Order of Gownsmen, used to wear their academic gowns routinely to class. Some still do, occasionally.

Some alumni chafed as these traditions were relaxed, and many became alarmed as objects they held dear were removed to the archives or disappeared altogether. First, university officials removed the state flags from the nave of All Saints' Chapel in the mid-1990's, saying that it would improve the acoustics. Some of the flags contained Confederate imagery.

Read the whole thing in the New York Times (of all places).


The young fogey said...

I see your point but I don't like secular flags in church anyway. But I imagine Sewanee didn't do it for sound Catholic liturgical reasons. Probably well-meant charity gone wrong.

The Inclusive Worshipper said...

these ppl seriously need to hire a diversity consultant !

Anonymous said...

I am with IW...this place is backwards.