​Sewanee Review Publishes 500th Issue

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

The Sewanee Review has published one issue, four times each year, for 125 years, and with this fall’s issue, the nation’s longest running quarterly literary magazine, rolled out its 500th edition.
To commemorate the milestone, the Review will host a public reception on Oct. 26 at Convocation Hall featuring a reading by fiction writer Ben Fountain, a National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle Award winner. The event starts at 8 p.m. and will also boast readings by authors Sidik Fofana, Justin Taylor and Elizabeth Weld, in addition to Sewanee faculty and staff.
“The 500th reading is a great chance for people to hear not only an interesting mix of writers, but also, Ben Fountain; he’s a big deal,” said Review editor Adam Ross. “We’re lucky he’s coming.”
Starting in early 2017, The Sewanee Review launched a new design and altered its direction under the leadership of Ross, a novelist and former journalist in Nashville. The revamp garnered fresh attention for a literary magazine that some saw as waning and a June article in The New York Times, “New Life for a 125-Year-Old Literary Journal,” gave the Review a significant boost in subscriptions and public interest.
“The New York Times article had an instrumental impact on us,” Ross said. “In terms of subscriptions it was bar none.”
The publicist for best-selling novelist James Patterson contacted the Review the day the article came out and Patterson made a sizeable donation to the Review, a practice the author is known for to promote reading.
Review managing editor Alec Hill added that because of the publicity from The New York Times article, the magazine had to reprint its spring issue and upped its print run for summer.
Since Ross assumed the helm, the magazine’s individual subscriptions have greatly increased and total subscribers are at about 1,200 people and 300 institutions.
On the day of this interview, the staff at the magazine was anticipating the arrival of the 500th issue, which is currently online. This magazine includes another cover created by acclaimed designers Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday and is one of the longer issues in Review history.
“It may be at the Post Office, we’re dying to get our hands on it,” Ross said.
The Review has broadened its variety of writers and content, including more female writers and people of different ethnicities. That expansion is displayed in the 500th issue, which also includes historical photos and copy.
“We tried to toggle a little between not only re-echoing some of the changes that we made, but also nod a little bit to history,” Ross said.
The issue includes photos of past covers and historical artifacts like pay ledgers for famous authors Ezra Pound, Cecil Day-Lewis and Sir Frank Kermode, and a table of contents that lists authors like Merrill Joan Gerber and legendary Southern writer Flannery O’Connor.
The Review has published the works of a slew of literary legends, a few include T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Sylvia Plath and Eudora Welty.
A photo of Allen Tate’s first cover from the 1940s is also included in the new magazine. Tate, along with managing editor Andrew Lytle, are credited with boosting the Review’s prestige in the 1940s with a stable of acclaimed writers.
As part of its current incarnation under Ross, who took over after longtime editor George Core retired, The Sewanee Review has returned to bookstores. Three new editorial assistants at the magazine, all 2017 Sewanee graduates, have been busy contacting bookstores across the country.
The new assistants said working for the Review is a tremendous opportunity to immerse themselves in the literary world and advance their own writing and careers. Spencer Hupp, who writes poetry and hails from Little Rock, Ark., is among the three new employees.
“This publication and its reputation is the reason I came to Sewanee,” Hupp said. “I wanted a place with an established literary culture and the Review is sort of the genesis of that literary culture in Sewanee.”
In addition to poring through submissions and editing, the editorial assistants also perform interviews, write blog posts and act as talent scouts, keeping their eye out for burgeoning authors to add to the magazine.
Editorial assistant Anne Adams, who hails from San Antonio, Texas, and writes fiction, said she enjoys reading work from writers that she admires. She recently interviewed one of her favorite authors, Alice McDermott.
The third new staff member, Walt Evans, who is from Birmingham, Ala., and also writes fiction, was recently able to review Jennifer Egan’s new book, “Manhattan Beach.”
“Getting that advanced copy, which was really cool, kind of made me feel like an insider because I’ve been reading her for a long time,” Evans said. “Her last novel was one of the ones that really inspired me when I was getting my degree.”
The practice of hiring new Sewanee graduates and promoting from within is something Ross said he would like to continue as long as possible. Hill, a 2016 graduate and now managing editor, was promoted after joining the staff last year. He also has a nonfiction piece slated to appear in the magazine in 2018.
William Peterfield Trent, a literary critic who taught at Sewanee and later was an English professor at Columbia University, founded The Sewanee Review in 1892.

​The Places Project

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

The way mountain folk are often portrayed in the media can be anything but kind. Margo Shea, a Connecticut-born, Massachusetts-bred Mellon fellow with the Sewanee-Yale Collaborative for Southern Appalachian Studies, was all too familiar with the stereotypes. And, these are the standards she hoped to reshape with her work.
“The focus of a lot of mountain communities is on what’s wrong with them, and I wanted to change that story. I wanted to showcase the things people in Sewanee are most proud of, and what defines them, made into this beautiful map,” she said. “All of the communities on the Mountain are really characterized by long-standing roots. Sewanee families are legacies. There are people who are the great grandchildren of alumni. I wanted to let people highlight that,” Shea said.
From her work as a Mellon Fellow with the collaborative came “The Places Project: A Crowd-Sourced People’s Map of the South Cumberland Plateau,” which is fueled by the stories of locals about their most-loved “places” around the Mountain.
“I just realized as soon as I arrived that people’s relationships to their places went really deep on the Mountain. I am really interested in getting people to participate in the construction of the identities of their communities, and I hadn’t seen anything like it before,” she said. “I was really intrigued and inspired by people’s connections to their communities. They talked about great grandparents and cemeteries and when they look around their landscape, they see traces of their family. To be able to map, name and place fishing holes and favorite walks really invited folks to rethink their own perspective on what it means to connect to natural beauty.”
Shea’s work was focused around giving locals the chance to tell their own stories—to remove themselves from the narratives written by others and to instead pick up the pen for themselves.
“There is something about being from a small town that makes you very visible and people think they know everything about you. Having the opportunity to narrate your story on your terms to someone who isn’t going to say ‘That’s not how it happened’ is special. A guy told me a story about proposing to his wife at Vespers point and someone said “which wife?” That’s something I didn’t throw in his face because I didn’t know, not being from there. A lot of times people say you can’t do community engagement if you don’t know a community really well,” she said. “I contend that not knowing can also work in your favor as long as you come in knowing you don’t know.”
Anna Summer Noonan, class of 2017, joined the project in its early stages after taking a class with Shea.
“It was after this experience that Dr. Shea reached out to a couple of students and me about the chance to continue working on the project throughout spring semester as an independent study. One aspect of the Places Project that I was really drawn to was the ultimate goal of taking the research back into the community from which it came,” she said. “This is such an important project because it creates a space where all stories of the places around the South Cumberland Plateau can be heard and valued. I am excited to see the permanent exhibit on display and to see the online platform being utilized by community groups and schools.”
Shea said one of her biggest takeaways is noting that special Sewanee magic that seems to be in the air.
“It’s a rare and beautiful thing to be in a place where you feel really confident and sure that if you need help, you will be helped, if you are lonely, you will find someone to be with. It’s not perfect, but I think people step up for each other in a really unique way,” she said.
The Places Project, according to Shea, was designed with its evolution mind—people in the community can add to the map to continue the story.

For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/theplacesproject/.

​‘Home’ Photo Art Work Wanted

All levels of  photographers are invited to submit their work by Oct. 20, reflecting the theme “ home ” to the Historic Downtown Tracy City Window Gallery’s Second Exhibition.

Photographers of  all ages and experience from Grundy, Franklin and Marion counties are eligible to submit. The theme is open to a variety of  interpretations. Photographers’ exploration of the theme may include, but is not limited to, locale, symbols, memory, buildings, objects, nostalgia and people. The photographs entered may answer the question, what is your notion of  “home” and what best represents it. A holiday event will be held in conjunction with this exhibition in December.
Entries will be accepted until Oct. 20, and the selected works will be on view in the windows of downtown Tracy City from Nov. 17–Feb. 28.
The exhibition is made possible by Tennessee Arts Commission and hosted by local businesses in the windows of  Depot Emporium, Annex Cafe, Grundy County Historical Society Museum, Citizens Tri-County Bank and Dutch Maid Bakery.
Send entries in jpeg format to grundyareaartscouncil@gmail.com. Contact Emily Partin at (931) 235-5576 with questions.

​SCCF Hosts Know Your Worth Conference

As a part of its fifth anniversary celebration, South Cumberland Community Fund (SCCF) will host its first local nonprofit conference, “Know Your Worth: Recognizing the Impact of Rural Nonprofits” on Wednesday, Oct. 11. The conference will take place from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Sewanee Inn followed by the keynote address at 4:30 p.m., which will be in Convocation Hall.

Sewanee alumna and CNN Hero Becca Stevens, C’85, will deliver the keynote address, “The Power of Love in Justice Work: Advancing Community Impact.” Stevens will also deliver a workshop at the conference on developing rituals for community leaders. Stevens is the founder and president of Thistle Farms, a social enterprise organization that heals, empowers, and employs female survivors of trafficking, prostitution and addiction. Thistle Farm products will be available for purchase at the conference.
The all-day conference will include workshops and panels focused on rural nonprofit collaboration and development led by nonprofit leaders from local foundations, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Benwood Foundation, and the Community Foundations of Greater Chattanooga, Huntsville and Memphis.
Following the keynote address, there will be a grants and leadership awards ceremony. In partnership with SCCF, the University of the South’s Philanthropy Internship Program will award grants to several local nonprofit organizations. In addition, several nonprofit leaders who have completed local workshops sponsored by SCCF through the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) Nashville will receive a certificate in nonprofit leadership. These courses focused on capacity building skills such as board development, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing and volunteer management.

This event is open to any interested individuals or organizations. For more information and to register, go to www.southcumberlandcommunityfund.org.

​Groundbreaking Ceremonies for Tracy City Mountain Goat Trail Project

Official groundbreaking ceremonies will take place on Monday, Oct. 23, for the downtown Tracy City portion of the Mountain Goat Trail.

The ceremonies will begin at 4:30 p.m. in downtown Tracy City, across from the Grundy County Historical Society.
Tracy City Mayor Larry Phipps said, “This will be an exciting day for our town. We’re breaking ground not just on the Mountain Goat Trail, but also on another improvement to Tracy City, which will improve our quality of life.”
The 1.2-mile section of the Mountain Goat Trail will extend from Tracy City Elementary School to the town city hall. It is the first of three sections of the trail which have been funded for construction, and which will connect Tracy City to Monteagle with a combined 6.2 miles of paved trail.
“The MGTA is grateful for the chance to assist Tracy City with their Mountain Goat Trail project. We look forward to working with the town as we connect Tracy City to Monteagle over the next two years,” said Nate Wilson, MGTA board president.
The Mountain Goat Trail project is being funded by a TDOT Transportation Enhancement grant. Governor Haslam visited Grundy County in 2014 to present the town with a check representing the grant amount of $603,569. The town has arranged for a loan to provide the 20 percent cash match for the grant.
The Mountain Goat Trail is a rail to trail community outdoor recreation project to convert an abandoned railroad right-of-way into a multi-use recreational corridor between Grundy and Franklin Counties on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee. When finished, the trail will be 35-40 miles in length, climbing from Cowan onto the Cumberland Plateau and passing through the towns of Sewanee, Monteagle, Tracy City, Coalmont, Gruetli-Laager and Palmer.

​Bookstore Project Moving Forward

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

The future bookstore in Sewanee now has a location and planners are seeking input on what the store will entail.
In the monthly SewaneeVillage Plan update meeting at the Blue Chair on Oct. 3, University officials discussed the bookstore with about 20 community members in attendance.
The current Barnes & Noble Store near central campus will close and the new store will be in the Village between the Sewanee Post Office and Tower Community Bank’s building. Mike Gardner, the University’s vice president for facilities, planning and operations, said an architect will be hired in about two months and he estimated construction could begin in 2018 with completion in early 2019.
A number of people said they would like to see an independent bookstore similar to Parnassus Books in Nashville. Frank Gladu, special assistant to the vice chancellor and project manager for the Village development plan, said the University is leaning toward an independent bookstore.
“Barnes & Noble, who operate our current bookstore, are certainly being consulted and entertained as the operator of the new bookstore,” he said. “However, nothing lasts forever and we are hedging that it may be a more independent bookstore going forward.”
Gardner noted that he is also meeting with students, seminarians, English department officials, Sewanee Review staff and others to gain input on the new store. At the Oct. 3 community meeting, suggestions included comfortable couches and chairs, knowledgeable staff, amenities for children, extended hours and a wider selection of books, including literary prize-winners.
Gardner talked about the potential for rooms for poetry readings, debates and other events. He also mentioned the possibility of a coffee shop inside.
“We’re trying to be sensitive to business entities downtown,” he added. “It’s also important to note that we just opened up another new café in the duPont Library. If you haven’t seen it, come see it.”
Gary Sturgis, Blue Chair co-owner and catering manager said a coffee shop in the new bookstore would be detrimental to existing restaurants.
“There’s very few places to go in Sewanee,” he said. “It wouldn’t help us if you put in another eatery, a barista and all that. I understand that fits the contemporary bookstore look, but I don’t think it would help downtown businesses.”
Gardner noted that there is the possibility the store could be two stories and the property provides 100 feet of frontage on University Avenue and 200-feet of depth. He said the store will not take up that entire space.
Community member Kathleen O’Donohue, who is executive director of Folks at Home across the street from the future site, asked about parking access for the new bookstore.
Officials said there is plenty of parking planned and Gardner said initially access will be from near the Post Office to Highway 41A, with no access from Sartain Road.
As for textbooks in the new store, Gladu and Gardner said there is the potential that textbooks could be housed in a warehouse and delivered to students. Gardner also noted that the planned University Commons in the area of the current bookstore will have a campus store, where most of the University T-shirts and other memorabilia will be sold.
In other business, Gladu said there are five areas of the planning project that should see substantial progress by 2022. Those areas include the narrowing and redesign of the intersection of University Avenue and Highway 41A downtown; the bookstore; the Village Green at the site of Sewanee Market; a new, small grocery store at the site of Hair Depot; and multi-family housing units.
The focus is apartment complexes, like four unit and six unit structures, Gladu said, and not large complexes or single-family houses.
Helen Stapleton, Franklin County commissioner and Sewanee resident, said she is concerned for people who need primary housing.
“Is there anything in place to keep these apartments from becoming second homes in Sewanee?” she asked. “That’s my biggest worry, that we’re going to build all these nice little apartments and they’re going to get snapped up by second home people.”
Gladu said there will be an agreement in place with developers that the apartments only be primary residences.
One area slated for apartments is Prince Lane, which features a large and old Tulip Poplar. Gladu said after the meeting that the tree will be protected and preserved.
For more information on the Village plan, visit sewanee.edu/village/plan.

​University Students and DACA

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

At three-years-old, Maria Trejo was brought to America from Mexico. She said her parents were quite young when she was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and that her father moved to the states to work to make money for his young family.
After strikes broke out at her mother’s school, university officials called for the closing of the school. That is when Trejo was brought across the border. She lived in Mobile, Ala., until moving to Sewanee for college.
Now a sophomore at the University, living in the south is all she has known. She said with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), she has been granted the freedom to not be forced to live in the shadows.
“Living a normal life is basically what DACA has meant for me. And it has meant not being afraid anymore,” she said.
In a notice to students on Sept. 5, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Terry Papillon made clear that the University would stand behind DACA students.
“The University is committed to supporting all of our students and, along with many other institutions, is on record in supporting DACA. Today’s announcement did not offer much specific information, and some may feel anxious in this period of uncertainty. There are staff and offices that are ready to assist you if you have concerns or questions as a result of the announcement about the DACA Program,” according to the announcement.
Trejo, who said she has always liked psychology and been interested in politics, is able to attend the University under DACA, majoring in psychology and political science. She said she is most worried about those who are younger than her not being afforded the same opportunities.
“Worst-case scenario for me is not being able to get a job after graduating, but my family and I have already started coming up with plans for what we would do if that happened,” she said. “I’m not worried for myself because I am able to get an education here at Sewanee, but it’s more for the kids who are younger who recently got DACA. They will have it for two years, but then they won’t be able to go to college.”
Trejo said she is mostly unafraid because of her position at Sewanee, but having to constantly attempt to prove that she is worthy of living where she knows can be tiring.
“We all knew DACA was temporary. Everyone has always had the fear that it would be taken away. But it feels pretty terrible, not just for me. It just pits people against each other. No one should have to argue that they deserve to live in their home,” she said.
Eric Benjamin, Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University, said they are keeping up-to-date concerning news around DACA.
“We are monitoring the situation actively. Student energy is focused on raising funds to help with the fees our government charges to reapply for DACA, and we are developing contingency plans in the event the president ends the Dreamers program,” he said.
For more information about DACA at the University, visit the site for the Office of the Dean of Students www.sewanee.edu/student-life/dean-of-students-offi... and navigate to the student resources tab.


​‘Haunted Sewanee’ Recounts Spectral Tales

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff  Writer

A ghost from the past, a former student who knew Annie Armour when she was University of the South archivist, chats with her at Stirling’s Coffee House on a late September afternoon.
The conversation finished, she moves outside to the porch to give an interview about her new book, “Haunted Sewanee,” which recounts tales of ghostly encounters on the Domain. Armour, who was archivist for 28 years, says she did not believe in ghosts until writing the book, but now feels there are specters that haunt Sewanee.
“There are a lot of stories in there that could be coincidental and not really a ghost,” she says. “But then there are some that just seem so unmistakable.”
About 10 year ago, she started collecting stories of hauntings from people in preparation for a Halloween party. The similarities of some of the tales peaked her interest.
“I just collected so many and then I started getting stories that were the same,” she says, “from people of different generations.”
For instance, one woman, a custodian, told her in the late 2000s that she used to clean McCrady Hall, a dorm on campus, but refused to go there now because she saw a ghost of a girl in a purple dress.
“I had gotten a story about a girl in a purple dress from someone who lived there in the 70s,” Armour says, adding that the custodian had not heard the story.
Armour says many of the people who shared their stories are intelligent and level-headed, not prone to making things up, like an English professor who had an encounter when he was a student living in Hodgson Hall, which used to be a hospital.
“He came up to me and said, ‘Have you ever heard the story of a little girl at Hodgson,’ and my daughter was with me and she said, “Yes, was she looking for her doll?”
“He was like, ‘Well, she was rummaging around in my room looking for something and I actually threw a pillow at her.’ The story was that there was a little girl there who had scarlet fever and you burned all your belongings if you had scarlet fever, and she was looking for her doll,” Armour says.
The building on campus that generates the most stories is Tuckaway Hall, a lot of them from one room in particular, she says, including the tale of a student who was mysteriously locked into a room for several hours despite the best efforts of proctors, locksmiths and the fire department.
His story is not in the book, but Vice-Chancellor John McCardell, , has an account of his own. McCardell said there is a tale that “Miss Charlotte” Gailor, daughter of former Vice-Chancellor Thomas Gailor, continues to haunt Chen Hall, where the Gailor house once stood and where the McCardells now live.
“Soon after we moved in, having lost a knob that had been on the top of an antique banjo clock, we asked Leroy McBee to make us a replacement,” McCardell recalled. “We returned from travel, saw the new piece on the clock, assumed Leroy had done it. Several days later, he came by the house, saying he wanted to see the clock before he made the replacement piece—we still do not know how the piece that was there got ‘back’ there and think that Miss Charlotte’s ghost is at least one explanation.”
There are some stories recounted in Armour’s book that actually involve physical contact with a ghost, like a ghoul who pushed someone down the stairs in Johnson Hall, or another where a looming specter appeared ready to attack a student’s sleeping roommate, before appearing over her and holding her down as she struggled to breathe.
Another story involves a student whose bed levitated and then there is even one tale of possession. A priest even tried to calm the spirits at Cleveland Hall.
“In Cleveland dorm they actually had a blessing of a room that was haunted; it didn’t help,” Armour says.
The newest story in “Haunted Sewanee” is from about three years ago, with possibly the oldest tale in the book dating back to the Memorial Cross in the 1950s. Her book also includes stories about the familiar Headless Gownsman, who is said to haunt campus in various incarnations. She includes a poem about the Gownsman from the late 1800s.
Writing the book has made her just a little wary of the dark, but she notes that most of the ghost stories occurred during the day. Indeed, Armour had her own strange experiences at the University Archives building. One day she threw her keys on a table and started doing errands a short distance away in the empty room, but when she turned around to get her keys, the bookshelf keys had been separated from her keychain and perfectly aligned on the table.
“I actually looked around and said, ‘Ok, I know you’re there.’”
Armour will sign copies of her book 1–3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7, at the University Book and Supply Store.

​University Ponders Memorials to Slave Holders, Confederates

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

As the University of the South prepares to relocate the General Kirby-Smith Memorial, a University project is considering the future of Sewanee’s other memorials tied to the Confederacy and slavery.
The University is moving the bas-relief and plaques honoring Edmund Kirby-Smith—a Civil War general and later a Sewanee professor—from the intersection of Texas and University avenues to the Kirby-Smith plot in the University Cemetery.
Sewanee Vice-Chancellor John McCardell said on Oct. 2 that there are currently no plans to move other monuments.
“This is an important and complex subject,” he said. “I think we are wisely taking our time to deal with those complexities before rushing to judgment. Above all, participants in our discussions need to be informed and to understand those complexities, not the least of which is that not a single one of us has ever led a completely blameless life, or one that may not subject us, 100 years hence, to judgments that we, in our own time, might regard as secondary or partial.”
Leading the discussion is the Working Group on Slavery, Race and Reconciliation, a team tasked to “study the significance of slavery and slavery’s legacies in the history and day to day life of the University,” said Woody Register, a history professor and director of the group.
Register said the group will present principles, guidelines and recommendations by the end of the academic year to lead decisions about “the place and prominence” of memorials, symbols and names related to the antebellum South.
“As an institution of higher education founded in the late 1850s by slaveholders, for the benefit of slaveholders, and to serve and protect a slaveholding society—a civilization based on bondage—our University of the South bears, I think, a distinctive obligation to re-examine its history and reflect on how that history necessitates careful, thoughtful reflection,” Register said. “How will that knowledge of our past, shape and guide the kind of a university Sewanee will be today and in the decades to come?”
Register spoke about the project at a packed Gailor Hall on Sept. 28 in the first of a series of public forums. The forum highlighted the Kirby-Smith monument as a talking point, but Register said the working group had no role in the monument’s relocation.
Sewanee Vice-Chancellor John McCardell, in an email to the University community the day before the event, announced the monument was being moved after a request from Tom Kirby-Smith, great grandson of the general, that it be removed. The vice chancellor said several stakeholders were consulted before the decision.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Kirby-Smith Chapter 327, raised $2,000 for the monument, which was dedicated in May 1940, said Tanner Potts, the working group’s research assistant.
Ginger Delius, current president of the Kirby-Smith chapter, declined to comment for this article, stating the group would wait until the state convention later this month to comment on the monument’s relocation.
Potts offered information on Kirby-Smith and the memorial during the Sept. 28 forum, where he highlighted the controversial sides of the general, like the fact that he was a slaveholder and opposed giving prisoner of war protection to Union soldiers who were black. He also noted Kirby-Smith’s contributions to the Sewanee community.
“Teaching botany and mathematics among other fellow Confederates on the new University faculty, Edmund Kirby-Smith became a beloved member of the community,” Potts said. “He served as superintendent of the local Sunday School at St. Paul’s on the Mountain, which was a predecessor of Otey Parish. He also served as a mentor to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.”
McCardell, who is also a history professor, noted on Oct. 2 that the context of memorials should be considered.
“I think it is important to keep in mind why a particular individual is being honored or commemorated,” he said. “Kirby-Smith is a case in point. He is justly celebrated for his participation in the life of this community and as a member of the faculty. But the memorial in question depicts him as a Confederate and highlights his non-University-related life. That may prove to be one useful line of distinction as we wrestle with this issue.”
The state of Florida is also in the process of removing a Kirby-Smith monument. A statue of the general, who was born in St. Augustine, Fla., is one of two statues representing prominent Floridians at the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. The Florida legislature voted to replace the statue in 2016, but has yet to decide on a replacement.
The next forum will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17, in Gailor Auditorium.

Public comments
Register noted there are many options available for dealing with symbols of the antebellum South in Sewanee, including leaving things as they are. During the Sept. 28 forum, more than a dozen people shared their thoughts.
One student said he is inspired by the changes to the University and the country that he sees depicted in the historical scenes on the stained glass windows at All Saints’ Chapel and he encourages changing the meaning of the monuments.
“Here, when I walk through All Saints’, when I read the history, when I know what it’s about, it almost creates admiration, just the juxtaposition of a general who fought for me not to be here and I’m walking right there. That’s the beauty for me,” he said.
History is a gray area, said another student, and even though the past is controversial it should not be erased, but the other side of the picture should be built up, like honoring slaves and workers who took part in constructing the University.
Another student had a similar suggestion, including honoring Kirby-Smith’s personal assistant, Alexander Darnes, a slave who went on to become Jacksonville’s first black doctor and only the second black doctor in Florida at the time.
A professor in attendance said she views Kirby-Smith as a traitor, a war criminal and murderer and asked if Confederate soldiers should be memorialized given their deeds and the unwelcome message it sends.
Another student said she likes the idea of listening to various opinions, remembering that Confederate soldiers and supporters were humans with many sides, both good and bad, who are worth memorializing and learning from.
The people who should be honored are the professors, the “great men and women” who were part of the Civil Rights Movement, said an alumnus.
The monuments are meant to glorify Confederate soldiers and should be moved to educational areas, like museums, one student said. Another student countered that a college campus is an educational area, and mistakes of the past should not be hidden.
One student asked those in attendance to consider what it was like for a black student from the north to go to the University of the South and the first thing they see is a Confederate monument.
The memorials do not promote the University motto of Ecce Quam Bonum, said another student. EQB comes from the Latin translation of the Psalm “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity!”
“If our goal is to make Sewanee a more inclusive place for all people, in the spirit of EQB, we have to look at whether having these memorials works towards or against that goal,” she said, “and I think that’s pretty clear.”
A lifelong resident of Sewanee said Kirby-Smith serves as a reminder that no matter how brilliant and accomplished someone is, they can be fundamentally wrong on an issue.

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