​Bach to Jazz Featured at All Saints’ Chapel During Lent

All Saints’ Chapel will feature a number of collaborative musical events during the season of Lent.

Geoffrey Ward, organist and choir master, will present a series of four organ recitals on Feb. 21, 28, and March 7 and 14, at 1:15 p.m. in All Saints’ Chapel. Each recital will last approximately 20 minutes, offering a perfect mid-day break from the routine. Repertoire will include works of Bach, Buxtehude, Böhm, in addition to hymns of the season. On Feb. 21, 100 students from Sewanee Elementary will attend the recital to experience the Chapel organ as part of an outreach initiative.
All Saints’ Chapel will host the Chattanooga chapter of the American Guild of Organists on Sunday, Feb. 25. At 4 p.m. the choir, under the direction of Ward and accompanied by Ken Miller, assistant professor of church music at the School of Theology, will sing Evensong followed by an organ recital performed by Ward and Miller. Service music includes preces and responses by Ayleward, canticles and motets by Charles Wood and organ music of J.S. Bach.
On Sunday, March 11 at 11 a.m., the University Choir will join forces with the Kash Wright Trio and Sewanee Praise to present a Jazz Eucharist. The collaboration will include favorite traditional hymns “Come thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “Amazing Grace” and “Rock of Ages,” led by the trio and combined choirs. Prakash Wright is a teaching professor in the department of music at the University of the South.
All Saints’ Chapel is located on University Avenue on the campus of the University of the South.

​Community Service Nominees Wanted

The Sewanee Civic Association invites nominations for the 35th annual Community Service Award. The award recognizes the person or organization that has made outstanding contributions to the community. The kind of contribution varies widely, but the recipient is one who has helped make Sewanee a better place and improved the quality of life for everyone in the area.

Nominations are due by Friday, March 16.
Past recipients are not eligible to receive the award again. Send the name of your nominee, along with a brief paragraph of why you are nominating this person and/or group, to sewaneecommunitychest@gmail.com. Nominations can also be mailed to the Sewanee Civic Association, P.O. Box 222, Sewanee, TN 37375. The award will be presented at the SCA’s April 18 annual membership meeting.
Past recipients include Kathleen O’Donohue; Mickey Suarez; GSA Allies; Pixie Dozier; Barbara Schlichting; Helen Bailey; Sewanee Youth Soccer; Dr. Matt Petrilla; Harry and Jean Yeatman; Marshall Hawkins; Karen Keele; Tom Watson; Susan Binkley and the Blue Monarch; the Sewanee Senior Center Food Pantry (Lena McBee, Sue Hawkins, Charlsie Green); George and Ruth Ramseur; Dr. John Gessel; Dora Turner; the CAC; Geraldine Hewitt Piccard; Myrtis Keppler; Connie Warner; Ina May Myers; Pete Green; Duval and Boo Cravens; Housing Sewanee; Arthur Ben and Betty Nick Chitty; Harry and Millie Dodd; the Sisters of St. Mary’s; Martha Dugan; Emerald-Hodgson Hospital Auxiliary; David Green; Joe David McBee; Robert Lancaster; Maria Webb; Doug Cameron; Phoebe Bates; Marilyn Powell; and Louise Irwin.

​School Board Hears from Winning SOCO Team

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Feb. 12 meeting of the Franklin County School Board, the SOCO Lego League team demonstrated their winning project. Composed of students from Cowan Elementary School and South Middle School, the team placed second in a field of 48 at the regional competition. The students designed a prototype for a combination water filter and lead detection alarm for installation on the school water fountains.
The First Lego League program for students in grades four through eight ignites interest in robotics and STEM (science, technology, electronics and math). In keeping with this year’s theme hydrodynamics, the SOCO team designed, built and programmed a robot that competed on a tabletop playing field performing tasks ranging from replacing a pipe to flushing a toilet. For their service project, the team researched and found a solution to the problem of lead in schools’ drinking water supplies.
Learning that all schools built before 1990, meaning both Cowan Elementary and South Middle School, posed a potential hazard from lead pipes, the students tested the water with a home kit, and skeptical about the results, sent it to Tennessee Tech for verification the water was safe. The prototype combination filter-alarm flashes green and shows a Smiley face if the water is safe; if not, the device flashes red, shows a toxic-eyes image, and shuts off the water.
The students’ multi-tiered research ranged from tracing the path of the water from the point of entrance to projecting the cost of their filter-alarm device, $350. They also wrote their Congressman asking them to enact legislation guaranteeing the water in school fountains was lead free.
At the regional competition, the SOCO team demonstrated their prototype device and provided an overview of their research.
“They not only learned robotics,” said Toni Barnes, SOCO coach and fifth grade teacher at Cowan Elementary. “They learned teamwork, perseverance and public speaking.” Clark Memorial and Rock Creek Elementary also participated in the Lego League program. “Next year’s challenge is space,” Barnes said.
Turning to regular business, Board Chair CleiJo Walker said the textbooks under consideration for adoption were available for public viewing in the meeting room at the Board of Education, 215 S. College St., through Feb. 28.
The board approved budget amendments to account for additional Basic Education Program revenue to cover the increase in insurance costs and revenue from contributions to the Campora Center ranging from food and shoes to tutoring services.
Walker asked board members to submit their self-evaluations by the last week of February, so they could be reviewed in early March.
At the March 5 working session, the board is expected to address proceeding with plans to construct a consolidated middle school. In May 2017, the board voted to replace the two aging middle schools with a single consolidated school. In the debate leading up to the vote, the Franklin County Commission indicated they would not approve funding to build two new middle schools, but the commission made no explicit commitment to the means of funding and level of financial support for a consolidated school.
Sewanee school board representative Adam Tucker said he recommended the school board and county commission meet to discuss the options.

​Friends of South Cumberland Contribute to the MGT Extension

The Friends of South Cumberland State Park announced a contribution of $10,000 to facilitate extension of the Mountain Goat Trail (MGT) through southern Grundy County. The check presentation took place during the Activ8Grundy/Healthier Tennessee event at the Grundy County courthouse on Feb. 12.

“We are very grateful to be able to participate in this celebration of Grundy County’s designation as a Healthier Tennessee Community,” Friends President Naullain Kendrick said. “We felt this was also a great time to show our support for the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance. The nearly 100 miles of walking and hiking trails in South Cumberland State Park, coupled with the nearly 11 miles of the Mountain Goat Trail that will be complete or under construction by the end of this year, provide citizens of our area with a wonderful variety of ways to get outside, walk, and get healthier every day.”
Kendrick noted that the Mountain Goat Trail will soon connect some of the most popular areas of South Cumberland State Park, with short spur trails planned as part of the upcoming phases of construction, linking the MGT to the park’s Visitor Center and to Grundy Forest, the northern terminus of the Fiery Gizzard Trail.
MGTA Executive Director Patrick Dean agreed, saying ”There’s a natural partnership between the MGTA and the Friends, connecting our common goal: getting people outside, moving and being healthy. This donation will help us as we connect Tracy City to Monteagle, beginning this year. We’re gratified that the Friends have chosen to support us, and we look forward to also eventually connecting the Savage Gulf and Hawkins Cove areas of the Park via the Mountain Goat Trail.”
Kendrick added, “We are excited to partner with the MGTA in their efforts to complete the trail in Grundy County and across the entire South Cumberland Plateau. The completed trail, with its connections to many areas of South Cumberland State Park, will give us all more opportunities to get out, to get healthy, and to fully enjoy the blessings of natural beauty that surround us in this wonderful community.”
The Friends of South Cumberland, a nonprofit organization, is the official public support group for South Cumberland State Park, which now protects nearly 31,000 acres of environmentally significant land in Grundy, Sequatchie, Marion and Franklin counties for this and future generations to enjoy. Learn more at FriendsOfSouthCumberland.org.
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. For more information, visit MountainGoatTrail.org.

​Arts and Ales Fundraiser

Franklin County Arts Guild is hosting its fourth annual fundraiser Arts and Ales—an over 21 celebration of the visual arts, music and the art of brewing. This ticketed event will be noon–4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17, at Monterey Station in Cowan.

Benefiting the Franklin County Arts Guild, proceeds are used to promote visual and performing arts in Franklin County. The Franklin County Arts Guild also provides a scholarship for a promising high school senior planning to study art or art education at the university level. The Guild provides local artists an opportunity to exhibit and sell their works through its gallery, The Artisan Depot.
Attendees will be able to spend an afternoon tasting a large variety of micro-brews while viewing the work of local artists. In addition, there will be art demonstrations and live music.
Tickets, $25 preorder, are available online at franklincoarts.weebly.com/arts-and-ales.html and at the Artisan Depot in Cowan, or $30 at the door. There will be a special $10 Designated Driver ticket for purchase at the door.

​Sewanee Village: Highlights, Historical Perspective, Future Topics

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Feb. 6 Sewanee Village update meeting, Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor Frank Gladu highlighted and gave historical perspective on the five priority projects. He also wanted to identify the “deep dive” topics—aspects of the plan residents wanted more information about.
Of the projects slated for completion by 2022, graduation year for next fall’s incoming freshman class, Gladu pointed to relocation of the bookstore to downtown as having the most “momentum.” The current bookstore needed to “vacate” the space selected for the University Health and Wellness Center “for the Health and Wellness Center to materialize,” Gladu explained. With the bookstore design underway and moving from the conceptual into the schematic phase, Gladu projected having construction documents by this summer and gave a completion date of spring 2019.
Asked if Barnes and Noble would operate the new bookstore, Gladu said, Barnes and Noble would continue in the capacity of a “collegiate” bookstore operating “in the space we give them.”
At the other end of the momentum spectrum, Gladu cited the Village Green proposed for the site now occupied by the Sewanee Market. Before the Sewanee Market can close, the proposed mixed-use building housing a grocery and residences need to be built, Gladu explained. “There’s a developer very interested in the project,” he said. The type of residences on the top two stories would be up to the developer, with both apartments and condominiums a possibility. Similarly, identifying a grocery operator would be up to the developer. The current market owners have “expressed an interest” in operating the grocery, according to Gladu.
Addressing a housing concern, Gladu insisted he favored only primary residents being allowed to own or lease residences in the downtown village, with no second-home residents. Lease policy states only University employees can build, Gladu said. Most of the proposed housing in the Village called for multi-family dwellings, the exception being a few lots in Parson’s Green and on Castleberry Drive, and the Cottage Court housing proposed for Prince Lane.
Gladu described the Cottage Court homes as having a “near-zero” lot line and ranging from 800 to 1,500 square feet in size, with two story homes possible. Identified as a “wet weather conveyance,” the Prince Lane tract posed challenges, Gladu conceded. “Building will likely be on higher ground around the brow of the property.”
Gladu reassured concerned residents the large tulip poplar tree on the tract would not be cut down. He speculated lack of competition for light and “perhaps the wetness” contributed to the impressive circumference of the tree.
Outside the 250-acres designated as multi-use by the Sewanee Village Plan, the University’s long-range plan calls for single-family dwellings only, Gladu noted, with the potential for 80-120 half-acre building sites.
Another front-burner project, redesign of the Hwy. 41A intersection, called for reducing traffic flow to two lanes “with a few strategic turn lanes,” Gladu said. As a state route, the one-and-half mile project falls under the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Traffic flow did not warrant a stop light, according to Gladu, but a pedestrian activated crosswalk is likely.
Asked about the earlier plan for a roundabout at the Highway 41A and University Ave. intersection, Gladu said investigation into the idea revealed “roundabouts were good at keeping traffic moving, but were not pedestrian friendly.”
Gladu hosts Sewanee Village updates on the first Tuesday of each month at the Blue Chair at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Topics identified for future discussions include parking, fiber optic internet service in the Village, the Village as a “visitor destination,” children friendly space, retention of trees and wooded areas, a community garden, and results from the marketing, housing, and storm water studies being undertaken by the University.

​Monteagle Council Grapples with Purchasing Protocol

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Jan. 31 meeting of the Monteagle Town Council, two recent infrastructure expenses prompted heated discussion about the proper protocol for the two instances in question: purchase of a used dump truck for use by the Utility Department, cost $17,000; and installing additional lighting at the temporary fire hall, cost $8,000.
Vice Mayor Jessica Blalock questioned the way the dump truck purchase was handled. “In the future I won’t do votes over the phone, and I won’t sign checks for the Town of Monteagle.” Blalock recently attended training with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) agency of the University of Tennessee. According to MTAS, both of these actions were illegal, Blalock insisted.
On the advice of city accountant Mark Allen with Allen, McGee and Associates, City Recorder Debbie Taylor contacted Blalock and the other aldermen asking their preference regarding the Utility Department’s request to purchase a used dump truck, quoting prices on two vehicles. Blalock later signed a check for purchase of a truck.
Explaining his advice to Taylor to contact the aldermen, Allen said in emergency situations “the mayor had authority to act” and the council was permitted to discuss the issue “over the phone.”
Utility Department manager John Condra said not having a dump truck constituted an emergency in the event of a water main break.
Blalock countered, “MTAS said a dump truck is not an emergency.” Blalock suggested the council should have held a special called meeting.
Allen pointed out that public notice should be given for special called meetings, which would result in a time delay. Allen cited the MTAS definition of an emergency as “putting life or property in danger. It’s the mayor’s call based on discussion with department heads. What I suggested Taylor do was to get the alderman informed. A vote wasn’t required.”
In a letter to Mayor Sampley following the meeting, city attorney Harvey Cameron concurred, “The decision is entirely up to you whether an emergency exists. In fact, there was no necessity for Debbie to call any of the aldermen.”
The additional lighting in the temporary fire hall was authorized by Fire Chief Mike Holmes. A contractor doing repairs on the restroom facilities had stressed the need for more lighting.
Alderman Kenneth Gipson questioned Holmes about the $8,000 expense.
“The lights cost a lot more than we thought they would,” conceded Holmes, who failed to get three quotes for the project as required by Monteagle city code when the estimated cost exceeds $1,500.
“Shouldn’t the council have voted on authorizing the lighting expense?” Gipson asked.
“The fire department makes decisions on how to spend its budget just like the police and other departments,” Sampley said.
In other business, Holmes requested declaring engine number three surplus and listing it for sale on govdeals, a government surplus auction website. The 1981 model engine had pump and tank leaks, Holmes said. He estimated the sale value at $8,000-$15,000.
The council approved declaring the engine surplus along with an out-of-service police car and two out-of-service utility department vehicles.
The council also approved Holmes’ request to apply for a firefighters grant for up to $30,000 to purchase a new engine. If the grant is received, the city would be required to contribute 5 percent in matching funds. Holmes described the federal grant program as highly competitive. “Last year we made it to the final round.”
Codes enforcement officer Earle Geary advised the council of the need to upgrade from the 2009 building codes manual to the 2012 manual. Law required the building codes a municipality operated under be within seven years of the most recent publication. “The state operates under 2012 codes,” Geary said. He estimated the cost of new manuals at $600. The council approved authorizing attorney Cameron to draft the necessary ordinance, which must be approved on two consecutive readings.
Sampley provided an overview of bids for asbestos removal in the portion of the Monteagle Annex undergoing demolition.
“The structure has 950 square feet of popcorn ceiling,” Sampley said. “The glue attaching the tile needs to be removed.”
The council approved retaining the low bidder Infinity Group for the job, cost $6,938.
The council meets next on Feb. 26.

​American Shakespeare Center Presents ‘Macbeth’

The Sewanee School of Letters invites the community to a free performance of “Macbeth” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15, in Guerry Auditorium.

From the first words of the play until the title character loses his head, Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy is also his most unrelenting examination of the dark side of humanity. Driven to bloody deeds by their lust for power and supernatural predictions, Macbeth and his Lady fight to hold on to their ill-gotten throne, their sanity, and each other, by any means necessary.
The American Shakespeare Center brings a unique performance style to Sewanee, blending Shakespeare’s stagecraft with modern sensibility. The company uses Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions: universal lighting, minimal sets, character doubling, cross-gender casting, and live music. Its productions have been hailed by the Washington Post as “shamelessly entertaining” and by the Boston Globe as “phenomenal…bursting with energy.”
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with period music from the company beginning at that time.
The performance will be in memory of School of Letters faculty member Ann Jennalie Cook, distinguished Shakespeare scholar, who passed away last summer. Through the generosity of one of Cook’s many grateful students at the School of Letters, we are able to honor her with this performance of Macbeth.

​Fat Tuesday at Otey

Get ready to let the good times roll with a New Orleans-themed celebration at St. Mark’s Hall of the Claiborne Parish house. At 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13, you won’t want to miss the Fat Tuesday festivities and feast hosted by the Otey Parish Crewe. Everyone and every age is welcome, so invite all your friends and neighbors.

Gary Sturgis will return to his throne as Otey’s chef extraordinaire. The menu will delight your taste buds with Cajun jambalaya and red beans and rice. Vegetarian offerings will be provided, plus a special dessert. For the kids, there will be a special pancake station. Orange juice and coffee will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own beverage of choice. Entertainment will include jazz and Mardi Gras favorites. Costumes of all kinds are strongly encouraged, but not required.
Ticket prices are $7 per adult and $2 per child, with no family paying more than $20. For reservations contact Frieda Gipson at <oteyparish@gmail.com> or 598-5926.

​Sewanee Immersed in Jazz This Weekend

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

This weekend, Feb. 9–11, Sewanee is afloat in jazz through a blend of lectures from renowned experts and scholars, jazz performances and discussions, and a culminating special concert on Sunday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m.
“MJQ Redux: Celebrating Jazz at Sewanee” marks a moment from University of the South history in April 1961 when the Sewanee Jazz Society hosted the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) in a concert at the gymnasium. The performance was significant not only because of the appearance of the jazz legends, but also because the all-black quartet performed amidst the racial turmoil of the segregated South.
Kash Wright, University Jazz Ensemble director and an event organizer, said jazz enthusiasts who want to hear world-class musicians and history buffs who want to hear from music experts are both in for a treat.
“And if you support music and the arts here at Sewanee, then rediscovering Sewanee’s rich heritage and tradition of playing and being patrons of jazz will also appeal to you, and you will get to hear from current Sewanee student musicians,” Wright added.
In addition to MJQ, the Sewanee Jazz Society of the 1960s and 70s brought other legends to campus, among them Louis Armstrong and Dave Brubeck.
Eric Benjamin, Sewanee’s director of Multi-Cultural Affairs and another event organizer, was part of the Sewanee Jazz Society as a freshman in 1969. Benjamin said he was not a student “when the true trailblazers organized the Modern Jazz Quartet performance,” but discovered students in Sewanee who were culturally and socially advanced.
“I was blessed to be an Atlanta native as a teenager during the time of Dr. King, listening to John Coltrane and Nina Simone, on albums and the radio, while they were alive still,” he said.
“Having grown up with jazz, it was great to find students at Sewanee who ‘knew about the music.’”
Stephen Miller, Sewanee Music Department chair and primary organizer, noted that past Jazz Society members Dave Wilson and Gray Smith were instrumental in developing the event. MJQ Redux is serving as both a reunion of the Sewanee Jazz Society and a celebration of MJQ and jazz.
Even for people who are not fans of jazz, the culminating concert by the Aaron Diehl Quartet at Guerry Auditorium is a tremendous opportunity, Miller said.
“Bottom line: Aaron Diehl’s Quartet comprises some of the best musicians in the world on piano, vibraphone, bass and drums, and to hear these virtuosos live—no electronic wizardry, studio effects, or Auto-Tune—will be inspirational, no matter your musical tastes,” Miller said.
Diehl, the lead musician, is known for his jazz instrumentals, classical performances and “accompanying one of the greatest vocalists on the planet, Cécile McLorin Salvant,” Miller said. Diehl also performed for the New York Philharmonic, last year.
“Along these same lines, the repertory of the Modern Jazz Quartet that the musicians will explore in the concert is quite varied, sometimes sounding more like straight-ahead bop-style jazz and at others more ‘classical,’” Miller said. “The instrumentation itself will be fascinating to all ears. While most are familiar with the sound of the piano, the vibraphone (played Sunday by the very talented Warren Wolf) is just not heard all that much.”
Wright, a member of the Kash Wright Trio, director said MJQ has influenced his own music. He discovered the quartet through Miles Davis’ album “Birth Of The Cool,” on which John Lewis, the pianist for MJQ, performed and also arranged two songs, Wright said.
“The MJQ is definitely the gold standard for blending aspects of jazz and classical music seamlessly and performing tight arrangements of standards and their own original compositions,” Wright said. “If any or all of those things interest you as a musician, I’d encourage you to listen to them. There are always aspects of what they do that will influence your composing and playing.”
A sample of the celebration’s events include: The opening session at Gailor Auditorium today (Friday) at 8 p.m., which features a screening of the documentary “Music Inn” with one of the film’s producer George Schuller, the son of jazz musician Gunther Schuller
On Saturday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m., author Gary Giddins, who was featured in Ken Burns’ documentary series “Jazz,” and Christopher Coady, University of Sydney professor and leading scholar on John Lewis, will host a discussion.
As Sewanee wades into the big jazz weekend, Benjamin noted that the genre is powerful in many ways.
“Jazz is great music and, like classical music, it raises your vibration and your IQ,” he said. “I find that the creative nature of improvisational jazz keeps the mind flexible. This can be relevant today, as society moves through the ‘great disruption’ and we are forced to improvise in our lives.”
There are a few events restricted to registered symposium guests, but all lectures and demonstrations are open to the public, Miller said. Tickets for the Aaron Diehl Quartet performance are available online for $35 through Feb. 10 and $40 at the door the day of the concert. Half-price student tickets are available at the door for $20 and University of the South students, staff and faculty get in free with a University ID.
For more details, tickets and a complete schedule, visit sewanee.edu/mjqinsewanee/.

​Mountain Goat Trail Run to Add Sunday Half-Marathon in 2018

The Mountain Goat Trail Run/Walk will now be known as Socumos Mountain Goat Trail Race Weekend, April 7-8.

The fifth annual Mountain Goat Trail Run & Walk, sponsored by Mountain Outfitters and the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance (MGTA), will be held on Saturday, April 7. The first Farmers Insurance Mountain Goat Trail Half Marathon will be held on Sunday, April 8.
Sponsors of the weekend to date include the MGTA, Mountain Outfitters, the South Cumberland Chamber of Commerce, Lodge Cast Iron, Tower Bank, the Town of Monteagle, NovaCopy, and Farmers Insurance. Additional sponsors are being sought for the event.
“After four fun and rewarding years of the run/walk, we’re excited about this new direction for the weekend. We get to keep the same great Saturday event, sponsored as always by Mountain Outfitters. Plus, we’re adding new ways to promote the trail and to get people walking and running for a good cause,” said Patrick Dean, executive director of the MGTA.
“Building on the success of the Mountain Goat Trail run by creating a full weekend of enjoyable family activities is a way to bring more people into the event from all over the region. The Chamber is thrilled to work with the MGTA to highlight our beautiful area,” said Jim Harmon, president of the South Cumberland Chamber of Commerce.
The 5-mile run will begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Sewanee; a 2-mile walk will begin at 10 a.m. at Pearl’s Fine Dining. Both will finish at Mountain Outfitters in Monteagle. Prizes will be awarded for fastest men’s and women’s finisher, and for best runner or walker’s costume. Drawings for outdoor gear from Mountain Outfitters and presentation of awards are planned after the finish of the run & walk.
The half-marathon (13.1 miles) will begin at 7 a.m. in downtown Tracy City and follow the future route of the Mountain Goat Trail, where possible, before joining the Trail in Monteagle and finishing in Sewanee.
Saturday night’s scheduled events include Thumping Richards and Daniel Troutman in concert in Angel Park. More details and activities will be announced as they are added.
To learn more or to register, go to mountaingoattrail.org/race.

​Aiken Taylor Award Presentation and Reading

The Sewanee Review is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry is Heather McHugh. McHugh has authored 12 books of poetry, including “Upgraded to Serious” (2009) and “Eyeshot” (2003), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, as well as translations of Celan and Euripides. She has received numerous literary honors, including the Witter Bynner Fellowship, Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

The 32nd Aiken Taylor celebration will take place on Feb. 6 and 7. University Provost Nancy Berner and Sewanee Review editor Adam Ross will present McHugh with the award at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7, in Convocation Hall, after which McHugh will read from her body of work. On Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 4:30 p.m., New Yorker poetry critic Dan Chiasson will lecture on McHugh’s poetry in the McGriff Alumni House. In addition to his work as a critic, Chiasson has published four collections of poetry, most recently 2014’s Bicentennial, and he teaches at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

​Kids Have Hearts for Those in Need


by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer
Giving a chunk of birthday money or selling cold lemonade to help neighbors afford food and basic needs are ways that Community Action Committee’s youngest volunteers show they care.
Community Action Committee (CAC) is an outreach of Otey Parish in Sewanee, which provides free food and a monthly community lunch, as well as assistance with emergency expenses. One of the program’s young benefactors, Griff Wilson, 10, sold cookies at a yard sale in May 2017, raising about $120 for CAC.
“The woman was so happy when I gave her the money and I just like it when people smile at me and are happy that I did something good,” he said. “I’d do it again for that and for helping people who are less fortunate.”
The ‘woman,’ CAC director Betty Carpenter, said the benevolence of Griff and other young volunteers is inspiring.
“To see their passion and dedication at such a young age gives me hope for the future,” Carpenter said. “I discovered long ago that kids are willing to do all kinds of outreach but it is up to adults to make it happen. I am grateful for the parents who help and encourage their children to think about and do something for others through CAC.”
Millie Roberts, 6, opened a lemonade stand in her neighborhood last fall to raise money for the organization, with some help from little sister Jane, who rounded up a few friends to buy lemonade. Millie also has future fundraising ideas.
“I was thinking this winter, when I grow up, I could do a lemonade stand in the summer and fall. When it gets like to Halloween, I’ll do candy for a while and when it gets really cold outside, I’ll do hot chocolate,” she said.
Elliott Benson, 11, gives time and labor to the CAC. Elliott, the son of Emily Puckette and John Benson, breaks downs cardboard boxes for CAC almost weekly. He’s worked there for more than three years, at first shredding paper.
“My mom suggested it originally,” the Elliott said. “It’s something to do to help the community.”
Elliott is heavily involved in school sports, but still makes time to do the work.
“I want them to know that their contributions are important and needed,” Carpenter said about the youthful philanthropists. “When kids do good things we need to affirm their efforts. CAC is a thread that connects the community and there are ways to be involved no matter what your age might be.”
Griff, son of Leigh Anne Couch and Kevin Wilson, said one day he might be a chef and also start his own CAC program.
“I think that it’s really important to help the poor because they are less fortunate than us by not having as much money and food,” he said. “I think all the people in the world should have equal money and a good house, and have food and water to drink every day.”
He has also saved his allowance money and Christmas money for the local charity.
“I split it into three piles, one for the bank, one for me and one for the CAC,” he said.
At his birthday party last year when he turned 10, he asked guests to bring $10, one $5 bill for him and one for the organization.
Millie and Jane, the daughters of Haynes and Megan Roberts, also gave some of their old toys away at Christmas, recently making a donation to the University of the South’s childcare program.
“My sister cried but I didn’t really care, because I’d had those toys for a long time,” Millie said, noting that it was hard to give away her favorite rocket ship, but it needed a new home.
For more information about Community Action Committee, call (931) 598-5927 or visit oteyparish.org.


​Cybercrime: A 21st Century Fact of Life


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Theorists speculate cybercrime will replace armed conflict as a means of global change. Greg Esslinger’s lecture “Collision of Cultures: Cybercrime, Bribery, and International Business” provided a compelling argument for that assumption’s truth.
A Sewanee graduate (C’91) with a law degree from Georgia State University, Esslinger’s career with the FBI working in the field of counter terrorism paved the way for his current career as a senior partner in the firm Control Risks, specializing in combating global bribery and financial fraud.
Putting cybercrime in historical perspective, Esslinger pointed to the BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—whose rapidly growing economies operate in cultures with vastly different rules from the current 21st century economic powers.
In 2001, the same year the BRICS acronym was coined, the Enron scandal forced questions about whether corporations were using financial influence to impact the political scene. Investigation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act revealed influence peddling wasn’t a large scale problem in the United States, but it was a behemoth-size problem in foreign nations. Most of the fines were levied against corporations operating in BRICS countries. A $579 million fine levied against Halliburton illustrates that trend.
Western economies saw the BRICS as “nations hungry for products and culture,” Esslinger argued, but they initially failed to see the bribery and corruption. The BRICS “exported” centuries-old cultural practices that resulted in a vastly different business climate. In China, “gaining face” via incurring compliments and “losing face” via damage to ones reputation dominated the business culture making extravagant gift giving an expected practice. In Brazil in 2010, corruption resulted in the wholesale overhaul of the government. Esslinger described Russia as a nation “controlled by oligarchs…economically teetering on the brink of collapse.” In India, the largest population in poverty in the world, “bribery is a method of survival,” Esslinger said, while “South Africa is a minefield of regional and class warfare.”
Esslinger defined the internet as “taking a staggering number of individuals with infinite cultural norms and nuances and bringing them together in one anonymous place that contains unlimited amounts of information.” The resultant large-scale opportunity for crime poses a $2 trillion problem with an estimated 800,000 internet scammers operating today. The BRICS nations, especially Russia and China, have notably availed themselves of the opportunity.
“Bank robbery is the 21st centuries dumbest crime,” Esslinger said, with 95 percent of perpetrators caught, average earnings of $6,000, and sentences of death or life in prison in cases involving murder.
Conversely, in a single morning an internet scammer can earn $141,000 in profits with almost zero chance of being caught by mimicking a bank’s log-in page, sending a mass email, and realizing $2,500 from each of the 50 or so emails that reach actual customers who respond. The hacker can then earn an additional $16,000 by selling the list.
In a popular corporate scam, “internet kidnapping” scammers contact a corporation asking ransom for a corporate employee in a foreign country, giving the corporation 30 minutes to respond. The hope is that with insufficient time to check out the threat the ransom money will be forthcoming, Esslinger said.
Esslinger cited several problems with prosecuting cybercrime: difficulty in determining the geographic location of the scammer and lacking the authority to prosecute a perpetrator in a foreign country; altered data logs masking when the hack occurred; and the crime going unreported or being reported long after the fact.
Cybercriminals are “emboldened by anonymity,” Esslinger said. He also emphasized the difference in motivation, not money as with much crime in the past, but activism and the desire to “disrupt, confuse, and destroy.”
In Russia, where the lines between government and organized crime blur resulting in widespread organized crime, investigators tracked two hackers who had wives and children, played soccer on weekends, and every weekday went to an office building job where they joined a host of colleagues all engaged in the same profession: hacking.
China is regarded as an even greater cyber threat than Russia due to the higher volume of attacks originating there.
Hacking of U.S. government computers exposed the personal information of 22 million people in 2015. By comparison, Target suffered 110 million recent data breaches; EBay suffered 145 million; and 412 million users of the dating site Adult Friends Finder had their data hacked.
Of the top five risks in 2018, Esslinger’s company Control Risks named “cyber attacks targeting large infrastructure” as number two, second only to escalation in North Korea.
Esslinger attributes the rise in cybercrime to the increased professionalization, hacking in an office setting, and the increase in the available targets, particularly internet-connected devices used by individuals ranging from TVs, to home security, to dog collars.
“There are no internet police,” Esslinger stressed. “You can’t dial 911. Education and communication are the keys to combating cybercrime. Cybercrime culture is part of the world we live in. It’s always there in the background.”
The Babson Center for Global Commerce and Office of the Dean of the College sponsored Esslinger’s lecture.

Beat the Peak Alert

This is a Peak Alert Warning!

PEAK ALERT… Peak Alert Warning - Friday, February 2nd from 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.
Middle Tennessee forecasts indicate that tomorrow's low is expected to be around 20 degrees prompting Duck River Electric to call for voluntary demand reduction measures through Beat the Peak™.
A peak alert warning has been issued for Friday, February 2nd between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 a.m.
Please lower your thermostats two to three degrees, turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, defer hot water use for laundry and bathing, and delay using large electrical appliances between these hours to help us Beat the Peak™. Thank you.

Show more posts