Commencement Weekend Events and Honorees at the University of The South
The University of the South’s 2018-19 academic year comes to a close May 10, 11, and 12. A Convocation and Conferring of Degrees for the School of Theology will be held Friday, May 10; the University Baccalaureate on Saturday, May 11; and a Convocation for Conferring of Degrees for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Letters on Sunday, May 12. All the ceremonies will be held in All Saints’ Chapel beginning at 10 a.m. and will be live-streamed for those unable to attend.
Honorary degrees will be presented during the School of Theology Commencement and during the Baccalaureate service.
The School of Theology will confer four honorary degrees during the May 10 convocation. The Rt. Rev. Carl Walter Wright, bishop suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries of the Episcopal Church will receive an honorary degree and will preach during the service. This year’s other School of Theology honorary degree recipients are the Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha, the Rt. Rev. Maria Griselda Delgado, and the Rev. Canon George Frederick Dettwiller II.
During the Baccalaureate service Saturday, May 11, Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and chief executive officer of TIAA and former vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors; R.F. “Roy” Foster, emeritus professor of Irish history at Oxford and professor of Irish history and literature at Queen Mary University of London; 25-year veteran of America’s space missions Matthew Golombek, a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Sherry Magill, former president and executive director of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund; and Dr. John R. Seffrin, former chief executive of the American Cancer Society, will receive honorary degrees. Seffrin will give the Baccalaureate address. More information about each recipient follows.
On Sunday, May 12, a Convocation for Conferring of Degrees will be held at 10 a.m. in All Saints’ Chapel and on the Quad for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Letters (tickets required). More than 400 students will graduate from the College, and 16 will receive master’s degrees from the School of Letters. A luncheon honoring the Class of 2019 graduates will follow.
Roger W. Ferguson Jr., is president and chief executive officer of TIAA, a leading provider of retirement services. He is the former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. As the only governor in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001, he led the Fed’s initial response to the terrorist attacks, taking actions that kept the U.S. financial system functioning while reassuring the global financial community. He served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as well as its predecessor, the Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
R.F. “Roy” Foster is emeritus professor of Irish history at Oxford and professor of Irish history and literature at Queen Mary University of London. In 1991 he became the first Carroll Professor of Irish History at Oxford and a fellow of Hertford College. He is a fellow of the British Academy, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His award-winning books include The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making It Up in Ireland; a biography of W.B. Yeats; and Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1922.
Matthew Golombek is a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory—NASA’s center for planetary exploration—and a 25-year veteran of America’s space missions to Mars. He is the project scientist of the Mars Exploration Rover mission, concluded in February 2019, and he led the landing site selection efforts for the InSight lander that touched down last November. His research focuses on Mars geology and the prediction of surface characteristics. He was the chief scientist for the Mars Pathfinder Mission, which successfully landed a spacecraft and rover on Mars in 1997.
Sherry Magill served from 1993 to 2018 as president and executive director of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a grant-making foundation in Jacksonville, Fla. While there, she spearheaded development of the Jessie Ball duPont Center, a nonprofit and philanthropic center. Prior to joining the Fund in 1991, Dr. Magill served as vice president at Washington College, a private liberal arts college in Maryland, where she also taught courses in American Studies. She has served as a senior moderator for the Aspen Institute and as chair of the Council on Foundations board, and is the founding executive director of the Wye Faculty Seminar, an enrichment program for professors at small colleges.
Dr. John R. Seffrin served as chief executive of the American Cancer Society from 1992 to 2015; he also led the Society’s nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Seffrin has served as professor of practice at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington. Among his many appointments, he served on the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health; was appointed to the National Cancer Policy Board; and led the creation of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
SUD’s Proactive Plans: Water Loss, Spray Fields
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the April 23 meeting of the Sewanee Utility District Board of Commissioners, SUD manager Ben Beavers alerted the board to the need to make water production more efficient by reducing unaccounted for water loss and to keep the wastewater treatment plant operating at maximum efficiency by remediating the spray fields. Unaccounted for water loss is the difference between the amount of water treated at the plant and amount registered as sold on customer meters. The waste water treatment plant disposes of treated water by spraying it over fields of vegetative growth where the water soaks into the soil nourishing the plants.
SUD’s unaccounted water loss for March rose to 30.8 percent. “I don’t know why it’s up,” said SUD manager Ben Beavers.
Zone meters in remote areas such as Sherwood, Midway, and Jump Off aid SUD in detecting leaks, but in town there’s no way to get an effective reading because the water lines loop, Beavers explained.
Beavers urged residents to contact SUD if they observe pooling water or other signs of a leak. Even when a suspected leak is reported, it can take SUD employees a day and a half to find its source. Unaccounted for water loss costs SUD 6.8 percent of its operating budget, $38,000 annually.
Proposing a solution, Beavers suggested purchasing strap on meters to detect the leaks in town. The meters cost $4,000-$5,000 each and three would be needed. The alternative would be to hire an outside firm to locate the leaks.
“Paying someone to find the leaks costs about the same as buying the instrumentation,” Beavers pointed out, stressing that leak detection was an ongoing process, not something that needed done just once. Another advantage to doing the leak detection in house was patterns emerged, according to Beavers, alerting SUD to the types of circumstances or areas where leaks were common.
Speculating on causes, Beavers cited valves wearing out where old out of service lines were not cut and physically separated from the system. Another possible cause is old, deteriorating cast iron pipe.
SUD’s long range plans call for replacing the deteriorating cast iron waterlines in the Tennessee Avenue area. Beavers recommended drawing up a five-year budget, prioritizing projects according to “which pays off best,” replacing the Tennessee Avenue lines or investing in leak detection equipment.
SUD’s spray fields underwent intensive remediation 10 years ago. “When I came on as manager we were under an order from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to remediate the spray fields,” Beavers said. In 2005 TDEC cited SUD because the spray fields were not adequately absorbing the water and runoff was reported.
Nate Wilson, who holds a degree in natural resources management, devised a corrective management plan. Strategies employed ranged from clear cutting to intensive planting and selective timber harvesting.
“We have one of the few spray fields systems in the state that work,” Beavers said. “Some were poorly designed. I want to keep ours going. We can get water from Tracy City if we run out, but there are no alternatives for wastewater treatment if our system fails.”
Beavers recommended conducting a survey of the spray fields in the near future and budgeting for necessary remediation. “We need to address needed remediation before the spray fields go down.”
Council News: Member Election, Parking, Hospital, and Parks
SSMF Faculty Concert
by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Members of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival Faculty will present a concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 29, in Guerry Auditorium. The concert will be followed by a post-concert reception in McGriff Alumni House. The concert is free and open to the public.
“This is a first time effort for the festival to have a presence outside of the summer,” said John Kilkenny, artistic director of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival (SSMF). “We’re bringing faculty to campus, to play as a thank-you and also as an announcement of the season.”
Meant to serve as a preview of the upcoming SSMF season, both longtime and new faculty will perform a varied repertoire, featuring Bill Yelverton playing classical guitar, Paula Bressman, on harp and Hillary Herndon on viola, among others.
Bressman, visiting instructor of harp and second harpist in the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, is one half of the harp duo Beyond Pluck. Bressman will play an original arrangement of The Who’s Baba O’Riley with Rachel Miller of the Southwest Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, as well as Parvis: Cortège et Danse by Bernard Andres.
“I grew up on classic rock — my dad had what seemed like every record ever, and driving me to harp lessons, we’d be listening to all classic rock, including the Who. Later on as I got used to the techniques, I was able to do my first rock arrangement,” Bressman said. “This song really lends itself well to not only the harp but many other orchestral instruments.”
Bressman, who attended SSMF during her high school years, is joining the faculty to revamp the harp program this year. Bill Yelverton, visiting professor of guitar, will be leading a new guitar program this summer as well.
Yelverton will perform as a featured soloist on April 29, presenting a set of variations on a Spanish renaissance piece, as well as Canarios by Gaspar Sanz.
Hillary Herndon, who first joined the faculty in 2006, will be performing alongside Gregory Lee of the University of Oklahoma and Brittany McWilliams of the University of Louisville, presenting the third and fourth movements of Antonín Dvořák’s Terzetto in C.
Herndon will also perform with Jason Calloway, cellist from Frost Music School, and Amy Chang, pianist from the University of Michigan, to present Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat major.
SSMF organizers will be hosting the newly-formed National Advisory Board for the preview concert. The board was organized to provide the festival with strategic direction, according to Kilkenny.
This year’s season of the SSMF will begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 15. Season tickets ($125) and tickets for individual events ($20) are on sale now at <ssmf.sewanee.edu/tickets>. The season will run through Sunday, July 14.
Civilian Conservation Corps Campsite Is Open
“The park is opening another campground within the month just a little bit further down the day loop,” he said. “But you’ve got to wonder how many people camped out there and didn’t know about the history.”
Scholarship Sewanee to Be Held April 25 and 26
Other events during the week of April 22 related to student scholarship and creative endeavors include the Sewanee Festival of Speaking and Listening, which showcases student speakers engaging in topics of political, legal, social, cultural, and professional significance. More information regarding the Festival may be found here:
Leal Leaving Home
Joseph’s Remodeling Solution’s Celebrates 32 Years; Open House April 24
The best way to reach Joseph’s Remodeling Solutions is to call the office at (931) 598-5565, or go to the website at