​Cell Tower Location Discussion Ongoing

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Sept. 9 Sewanee Community Council meeting, a long discussion about locating a new cell tower near the water tower off Breakfield Road led to a suggestion to erect the tower in a nearby wooded area. “We would consider it,” said Vice-Chancellor John McCardell. More than 30 community members attended the meeting. A proposal to bring 1 Gbps fiber optic internet service to all leaseholds, partially funded by the leaseholders, also prompted much discussion. [See “Fiber Optic Service to Every House Proposed.”]

Strong community objection to locating a cell tower behind the football stadium and an “adverse affect” ruling by the State Historic Preservation Office prompted a search for another site. According to Eric Hartman, vice president of risk management and institutional effectiveness, the water tower location would require a taller tower, 285 feet as opposed to 185 feet. Verizon, the primary service provider who would use the new tower, said mounting equipment on the water tower walk-around, height 130 feet, would not provide adequate propagation. Likewise, locating the tower further down Breakfield Road would not provide adequate propagation. Verizon also rejected the former convenience center as a possible location due to liability concerns from toxic chemicals revealed in a bore sample. Close proximity to the airport ruled out other possible locations.

Many community members expressed health concerns about the water tower site, pointing to World Health Organization data indicating cell towers “are not guaranteed to be safe.” The nearest residence, the Malde home, would be 1,000 feet from the tower.

“The University is not going to put any of our neighbors at risk unnecessarily,” insisted McCardell. “There are enough other communities that have erected towers who have decided there is no risk or insignificant risk.”

At 285 feet, the tower would require a light, Hartman said, “likely red.” He also noted the height might not be sufficient and an additional tower might be needed for satisfactory propagation.

One community member pointed to decreased property values for leaseholds near the tower and asked if the University would provide compensation.

“We haven’t discussed that,” Hartman said.

In response to the suggestion to move the location from near the water tower into the nearby woods, Hartman said, “I don’t know if Verizon is interested in pushing it further into the woods.” But Hartman stressed the service provider was committed to “trying to make it work.” Hartman noted the Environmental Protection Agency objected to tree cutting due to concerns about bats.

No contracts have been signed with Verizon or the company that would own the tower, Hartman said. He estimated the rent the University charged at $1,000 per month, but said nothing had been negotiated.

McCardell insisted the conversation was ongoing and invited additional questions and comments.

In other business, Sewanee Community Funding Project chair Pixie Dozier announced $20,000 was available for improvements and amenities “to enhance the community and improve the quality of life.” Applications are available at various locations throughout the community and online by emailing <sewaneefproject@gmail.com>. The deadline for applying is Nov. 1.

Election officer Charles Whitmer announced a special election would be held to fill a vacant District 4 seat. Candidates must reside in District 4 and submit a nominating petition signed by 10 District 4 residents before Oct. 4. Nominating petitions are available at the Lease Office, the “Blue House,” on University Avenue. Voting will take place at the Lease Office, through Oct. 25. Only District 4 residents can vote in this special election.

Fiber Optic Service for Every House Proposed

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Eric Hartman described the proposal to bring fiber optic internet service to all leaseholders as “led by Ben Lomand, powered by Duck River, and supported by the University of the South.” Hartman, head of University Risk Management, addressed Sewanee residents and the Sewanee Community Council at the Sept. 9 meeting.

Ben Lomand would provide the service, Hartman explained, and Duck River’s infrastructure would deliver the service. Subscribing to the fee-based service would be optional.

Beyond the installation expenses Ben Lomand and Duck River will pay for, “the cost is $725,000,” said Vice-Chancellor John McCardell. “The University is in for about 15 percent of that, or about $100,000. The remaining 85 percent needs to be covered in some way.”

The 15 percent figure is based on the fact that of 555 total leaseholds, 15 percent are University properties.

McCardell proposed a possible payment model in which residents and businesses would be assessed $12.50 per month and nonresidents $50 per month for 10 years.

“We’re not looking for a specific decision,” McCardell said, “We’re simply asking your opinion about what is a fair spreading of this cost over a period of time.”

Council representative Eric Keen noted some leaseholders would “use the service more than others and not all need it.”

McCardell stressed the discussion was about “laying the infrastructure,” not about whether individuals chose to “avail themselves of the service.”

No vote was taken. No other objections were raised.

Suggestions from council members and residents for proportioning the cost included basing the share each leaseholder paid on property values and offering a discount to leaseholders who paid up front as opposed to over time. Opinions varied on whether residents and nonresidents should pay the same amount.

Ben Lomand was ready to begin construction immediately, Hartman said.

​Vice-Chancellor Search Committee and Process Announced

Constituent Input Invited

University of the South regents Joseph DeLozier, C’77, and Margaret McLarty, the chair and vice chair of the Vice-Chancellor Search Committee, have named the following members to serve on the committee:

Robert Skirving, H’15, chancellor of the University ; John Bauerschmidt, H’07, bishop of Tennessee; Mary Ellen Fagan, C’20, student in the College; Jay Fisher, C’79, deputy secretary of the Board of Trustees; John Ford, former regent; Reid Funston, C’86, regent; Marichal Gentry, C’86, College staff member; Virginia “Fairlie” Herron, C’92, alumni trustee; Benjamin King, School of Theology faculty member; Andrea Mansker, College faculty member; Thelma “Nikki” Mathis, T’08, diocesan trustee; Jon Meacham, C’91, former regent; Deon Miles, College faculty member; Katherine Nielsen, regent; and Ruth Sanchez, C’86, College faculty member.

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates has been retained to assist the Search Committee.

The Search Committee invites input from various University constituents as it determines the qualities and characteristics for the next vice-chancellor. A vice-chancellor search survey and several upcoming meetings will provide opportunities for participation.

Vice-Chancellor Survey

All University constituents are invited to share their thoughts about the characteristics and qualities desired in the next vice-chancellor by taking this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SewaneePresidential.... The survey is anonymous and will require about 10 minutes to complete. Results will be shared with the Search Committee and the search consultants. Please complete the survey by Friday, Sept. 27.

On-Campus Forums

Various University constituents are invited to participate in the following open forums taking place on campus on Monday, Sept. 23, and Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Monday, Sept. 23, 3:30–4:30 p.m., open forum for College faculty, Gailor Auditorium; 5:30–6:30 p.m., open forum for College students, Gailor Auditorium; 7:30–8:30 p.m., open forum for community members, Convocation Hall.

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 9–10 a.m., open forum for University staff, Convocation Hall; 3–4 p.m., open forum for School of Theology faculty, Hamilton Hall Room 223, 4–5 p.m., open forum for School of Theology students, Hargrove Auditorium.

The search consultant and members of the Search Committee will join the trustees and regents during their meeting on Oct. 10 and 11.

Based on the information received through the survey and constituent meetings, the Search Committee will compile a vice-chancellor profile and requirements to begin the search process. Over the winter months, the Search Committee will continue its work in anticipation of an election of the 17th Vice-Chancellor by the Board of Trustees in early spring.

Anyone with a question about the search may direct it to <vcsearch@sewanee.edu>. One of the committee members will respond.

​University to Celebrate Foundation Day Sept. 20

The University of the South will celebrate Foundation Day on Friday, Sept. 20. Sylvia Earle, arguably the world’s best-known oceanographer, will be the speaker at Foundation Day Convocation and will receive an honorary degree. The convocation, which will be held at 4:30 p.m., coincides with Family Weekend and will include the conferral of two additional honorary degrees and the induction of new members into the Order of the Gown.

John Lewis Ford, former dean of campus life at Emory University, and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Clayton Matthews, former bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development, also will receive honorary degrees during the convocation.

Only students receiving (or giving) gowns and families of new OG members will have tickets for admission to the Chapel. All others are invited to watch convocation in Guerry Auditorium or via the live stream https://new.sewanee.edu/parents-families/convocati..

Oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle is explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, and a former (and first woman) chief scientist of NOAA. She first used scuba gear as a teenager, and has since led more than 100 expeditions and spent 7,500 hours underwater. Her research concerns the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystems and development of technology for access to the deep sea. Earle founded Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance, a foundation that works to establish Hope Spots, protected places in the ocean where exploitation is prohibited, around the world. She is the recipient of more than 150 national and international honors and awards, including being named Time magazine’s first Hero for the Planet.

John Lewis Ford served for 12 years as senior vice president and dean of campus life at Emory University. Previously, he was the Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley dean of students and a professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University. His early work with community service projects to lessen economic disparities in access to health care led to efforts with students and faculty colleagues on problems of feeding and housing homeless people. Later in his career, Ford co-led Emory’s Journeys of Reconciliation with students, faculty, and staff to explore how historic racial, religious, and ethnic conflicts in other countries continue to challenge community-building and the search for social justice.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Clayton Matthews was called in 1998 to become the bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development, a ministry of the presiding bishop’s office. He remained in that post under three presiding bishops until his retirement in 2017. During that time, he worked closely with the chancellors of the Episcopal Church on diocesan mediations and conflict resolutions, interventions, and all Episcopal elections. Bishop Matthews continues to serve as the managing director of the College of Bishops, an authorized school for education and formation of bishops of the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, Wales, Scotland, Tanzania, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, Cuba, and others.

​Unlearning Racism

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“We’ve all internalized negative messages,” said Beverly Daniel Tatum, speaking about people’s unwillingness to talk about race and racism. In a conversation format presentation, Tatum led the audience into a complex and at times painful awareness of where those negative messages come from and how to “unlearn” them.

Cassie Myer, director of the Dialogue Across Difference Programs, moderated the conversation with Tatum. President emeritus of Spellman College, honored as a leader in race relations and higher education, and author of the book, “Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”, Tatum introduced audience members to themselves by asking them to recall their earliest moment of racism. For most, the circumstance occurred between the age of three and eight, prompted feelings of “discomfort,” and was never discussed with an adult—even though children are normally “chatty” at that age—because the child sensed the adults’ discomfort.

“Many people learn at a very early age that this is something they don’t want you to talk about.”

Tatum cited a Washington Post story by the father of a young white man involved in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. According to Tatum, the father insisted he did not share the son’s racist views, but confessed, “we were silent on the subject and other ideas filtered in.”

Pointing to the change in demographics since the 1950s when the United States was 90 percent white and 10 percent “other,” Tatum said in 2000, the United States was 50 percent white and 50 percent “everybody else.” Nonetheless, due to the practice in public education for children to attend neighborhood schools, “Most students come to college from a racially isolated environment.” Tatum dismissed the assumption that “learning to connect across lines of difference” will happen automatically by putting the students together in classes and residence halls.

“We need to provide structures for that to happen…to create the opportunity for students of different backgrounds to engage with each other in a sustained way that allows for the exchange of experience and stories.”

Tatum said the first step was creating “opportunities for same experience support.” Interaction and conversation with those of shared circumstances fulfilled a basic need for safety and belonging, Tatum stressed. She drew the analogy of a hungry person being unable to focus on other things until the hunger need was gone.

From the white student perspective, the shared experience group offered an opportunity to overcome “white fragility.” Engaging in dialogue about race in an all-white group provided an opportunity to reflect on experiences without having to worry about inflicting pain on people of color, Tatum suggested. “Most white people lack stamina for talking about race and racism…engaging in dialogue about race is painful and hard. To build up your stamina you need to practice and sometimes that practice is best done with other white people.”

However, Tatum insisted, “It’s not an either-or. It’s a both-and.”

Asked about her vision for Sewanee and other colleges 20 years from now, Tatum said, “For one thing, [colleges] will more accurately reflect the demographics of the nation…or they’ll find themselves with a shortage of students.”

Tatum pointed to “affirming identity” as key to accomplishing that goal. She gave the illustration of persuading Spelman College to modify its baccalaureate service to include scripture from non-Christian faiths like Islam and Baha’i. People look for themselves first in a group photograph, Tatum said, and if they have been digitally removed, the question “What’s wrong with this picture?” quickly becomes “What’s wrong with me?”

Paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Tatum said social change required empathy for the circumstances of others. She argued listening was the path to empathy, and empathy in turn led to action.

“It takes constant effort and vigilance to get beyond the inertia of past habits and practices.”

Ben Lomand and Duck River Informational Meeting

Ben Lomand Connect, the University of the South, and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation propose a partnership to deliver a fiber-to-the-premises solution to leaseholders on the University of the South’s Domain. The project is led by Ben Lomand, powered by Duck River, and supported by the University of the South.

Community Council Meeting Information

The University will share details related to the project at the next Sewanee Community Council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9. Discussions will include details on benefits and expenses for the project and possible cost-share options between the University and the community.

Additional Gathering for Further Details

Ben Lomand and Duck River Electric will also host an informational meeting in Convocation Hall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. Anyone seeking additional information is welcome to attend.

​SACA Arts & Crafts Fair

The Sewanee Arts and Crafts (SACA) Fair will be Saturday, Sept. 21, in Shoup Park, on University Ave. The fair, which will happen rain or shine, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by SACA. There will be art and crafts for sale including clay, glass, paintings, wood and much more.

​Sewanee Village Update: Why Visit Sewanee?

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“It’s essential for existing businesses and to attract new businesses to identify what will attract populations close to us to visit Sewanee,” said Frank Gladu, introducing the topic for the Sept. 3 Sewanee Village Update meeting. Gladu oversees the Sewanee Village initiative charged with guiding and directing long-term development in downtown Sewanee. In conjunction with increasing housing, a key component of the project, the plan envisions apartments on the second floor of buildings offering retail space on the ground floor in the area near the heart of downtown.

Gladu posed the question, “What are the attractions that will draw visitors from Atlanta, Chattanooga, Huntsville and Nashville?”

Speaking on behalf of the Sewanee Business Alliance, Jimmy Wilson said plans were underway for billboards on east and west bound I-24 “emphasizing the scenic and historic nature of Sewanee.” Conversation is underway with the University for permission to depict landmark structures such as All Saints’ Chapel.

Realtor and resident Lynn Stubblefield pointed to the South Cumberland Plateau being home to the largest park system in the state, offering hiking, camping, rock climbing and more.

Others cited the local trails as a draw, as well as the golf course, the numerous artists and art galleries, music venues, and the quaintness of a small town where “you can turn your kids loose to play.”

Gladu suggested, “Going back in time” as a possible theme for a campaign geared to draw visitors.

He anticipates input on vitalizing Sewanee tourism from the Carey Fellows of the Babson Center for Global Commerce and a spring project by Middle Tennessee State University tourism majors. He also expects guidance from a new Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development project focusing on tourism on the South Cumberland Plateau.

Asked about the Village Green proposed for central downtown at the location of the current Sewanee Market, Gladu said he estimated the size at approximately an acre. He hopes to engage a landscape architect before the end of the year to create a conceptual design of what the space will include and the cost. Both restrooms and a stage are being considered.

On the subject of housing, Gladu said BP Construction intended to convene a housing focus group this fall. The developer has completed a schematic design for a mixed-use retail and apartment building on the lot where the Hair Depot is currently located. Plans call for a 5,000 square foot food market and 2,000 square feet of other retail on the ground floor and 12 apartments on the second floor, six studio apartments and six one-bedroom apartments.

“BP needs to have confidence that what they invest in to build will sell or lease,” Gladu stressed. The developer will not begin construction on the mixed-use building until 60 percent of the space is leased.

The need for University employee housing drives the housing initiative, Gladu explained. “Gentrification has negated the ability of faculty and staff to live on the Domain,” Gladu said citing both the high purchase price and high cost of renovating old homes. “There’s no place for employees to live. We’re trying to create a housing inventory more compatible with what people need, want, and can afford.”

BP will direct the housing focus group at faculty and staff as the initial target market for housing they construct.

​‘The Celestial Sky-Messiah’ at IONA

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

After years of searching for the best materials and countless hours spent erecting “The Celestial Sky-Messiah” in the fields of IONA, Ed Carlos’ newest artwork is ready for its unveiling.

IONA: Art Sanctuary is a studio in Sewanee that doubles as a gallery, allowing locals to exhibit their works alongside some of owner Ed Carlos’ originals.

Carlos is a former University professor and lifelong artist. His newest piece, “The Celestial Sky-Messiah,” will be exhibited at the Autumn Festival of Fine Arts. The festival begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The festival will run through the end of the week.

Inspired by the galaxy and by Christian mythology and the Buddhist tradition, Carlos said the work was years in the making.

“My son Aaron has been doing all the heavy work since April, but I’ve been working for years on it—planning and looking for the metal sheets. I went to Murfressboro, Chattanooga and Nashville, and I went to every metal garbage dump. I went to one in South Pittsburg and to some others in small towns around here. Finally, after all of that, I found them in Winchester. I was thrilled. They had exactly the number I was seeking,” he said.

Carlos was able to salvage 8- and 6-foot metal sheets that were then connected to 14-foot posts, each buried 5-feet underground to provide a strong foundation for the wall to stand.

“Scott Simpson helped me with the drilling. I did the main markings, and then I showed him where to drill the different sizes in the patina. He was a big help. We had metal sheets all over,” he said.

Carlos said one friend jokingly referred to the piece as his Stonehenge project, and another friend commented on the wall’s celestial look. He said that is how they settled on a joint name.

“During the day, it has a different look because of the patina, and at night, it’s illuminated from the inside. You can see the constellations and the faces of Adam and Eve,” said Aaron Bridgers-Carlos. “Dad shellacked the metal panels on each side to protect the patina. Otherwise, it would continue to rust.”

Carlos added that right now, the patina is perfect.

The Autumn Festival of Fine Arts will be held from Sept. 17–20. IONA is located at 630 Garnertown Rd., in Sewanee.

​Townsend School Continues to Educate and Inspire

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Townsend School, the former site of Franklin County’s African-American high school, has new tenants: the Townsend Cultural Center dedicated to sharing and celebrating Townsend School’s rich history and the Franklin County Bridge Program, a path for guiding at risk youth to a life of positive action and thought.

Desegregation closed Townsend School in 1966. In subsequent years, the building housed the board of education, a kindergarten program and the Franklin County Alternative School. Since 2016, the building went largely unused except for GED preparation classes. In the summer of 2018, the board of education deeded the property to the county. Then Mayor Richard Stewart cited office space for business startups and a black heritage museum as possible uses.

The county has not received any requests from the business sector, according to new Mayor David Alexander. The GED classes have continued, however, and Townsend School’s rich and inspiring tradition lives on in the two new programs the county has welcomed to the building.

“We didn’t envision things moving this quickly,” said Karen Morris, secretary of the Townsend Cultural Center board of directors. Alums and children of alums are leading the effort assisted by Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Historic Preservation. Students help with fact checking, marketing and design. The newly formed 501(c)3 has already published a brochure and hosted two events, a meet and greet and a gathering targeting black churches. “That’s where our base is,” Morris stressed.

The center’s museum will be dedicated to Anderson “Doc” Townsend, the school’s namesake. Interpretive panels will highlight displays. One will feature Townsend’s 1865 discharge papers from the U.S. Colored Troops. Born a slave in Winchester in 1847, Townsend escaped, enlisted, after the war attended Nashville Normal and Bible Institute, and returned to Winchester where he taught in the county’s black schools for the next 50 years.

Townsend School’s proud sports legacy of state championship wins will have its own room displaying treasures such as trophies and footballs from winning games. Townsend alums as far away as California and Washington D.C. have sent display items. Morris is hoping for a football jersey.

The former gym-cafeteria with a stage will accommodate meeting and public speaking events. The MLK Foundation has already inquired about hosting a fundraiser there, Morris said.

Donations from the African-American community largely funded building the two schools, which have occupied the site—the Winchester Colored School burned in 1926 and the Townsend School replaced it. In that same tradition, community donations are funding transforming the space into a cultural center. Morris predicts an official opening at the end of next summer.

The Bridge program created by a grant written by the Franklin County Prevention Coalition has an equally inspiring mission.

“The program’s purpose is to reduce delinquency among youth,” said Director Jessica Sheehan. Participating youth in grades three through six meet one or more risk criteria: incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parents, substance abuse in the family, failing grades, delinquency in school, or foster care involvement.

After school twice a week, the children engage in activities founded in the premise positive actions lead to a positive identity.

“If you engage in positive activities, you think positive, feel positive and do positive activities in turn,” Sheehan explained. “It’s a cycle.”

Popular activities include high-intensity Zumba workouts, painting and art classes, playing Wiffle ball, and receiving golf instructions from law enforcement officials. “It helps them see law enforcement officials as people,” Sheehan stressed.

Friday Night Done Right events draw in the entire family to watch movies or play board games.

The program’s parenting workshops teach parents appropriate discipline strategies, how to talk about drugs and alcohol with their children and how to be a parent not a peer.

The program serves 42 youth. “We’re just going into our second year,” Sheehan said, “and we’ve already seen a lot of positive changes.”

​Quilting and the Community of Gee’s Bend

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

The little town of Boykin, Alabama may not be large — according to the 2010 census, its population was only 275—but its reach is quite wide.

Also known as Gee’s Bend, Boykin is an African-American community on the Alabama River in Wilcox County, Ala. Since the 19th century, it has been home to some of the country’s most powerful traditional art.

Louisiana Bendolph, artist, quiltmaker and storyteller from Gee’s Bend, remembers well the history of quilting in that Alabama community growing up. Bendolph was 12-years-old when she made her first quilt. It was just something to do with the scraps that were leftover from making clothes, and Bendolph said nothing went to waste.

More than 45 years since making her first quilt, Bendolph will visit the Mountain with some of her work and work by fellow Gee’s Bend artists, Mary Lee Bendolph, Thornton Dial and Lonnie Holley.

“Prints and Quilts from Gee’s Bend” is on display at the University Art Gallery, exhibiting selections from the Arnett collection to represent a new chapter in the long story of quilting and the community of Gee’s Bend, Ala.

The history of Gee’s Bend is long. The story begins in the 19th century with the enslaved persons on Joseph Gee’s plantation, and stretches through the Great Depression and the struggles of the Civil Rights movement all the way to 2002 with the recognition of the quilters at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Since 2002, the quilts have been exhibited at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

In 2004, Elyzabeth Wilder, Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence, made her first trip to Gee’s Bend. She had been commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to tell the story of the community, and in 2007, the play was debuted.

“Mary Lee, who is Louisiana’s mother-in-law, said, ‘Just write it honest.’ I wrote that down, and I taped it to my computer. That was just a constant reminder to try to tell the story with as much authenticity as I could,” Wilder said. “One of the exciting things about this particular show is it demonstrates how artists are inspired by one another. You have two generations of quilters being represented. It’s also a great conversation about how we perceive art and who we think of as artists.”

Wilder said in many fine art circles, women quilting together and laughing over stories wouldn’t be considered art, but the work of Gee’s Bend challenges our assumptions about how we define art and who it’s for.

“More and more as I’ve gotten into this project and more and more as I’ve gotten to know the women, I’ve realized that this notion of providing comfort and caregiving and women’s work, these are things that kind of get dismissed, but they are really powerful. That emotional labor and the people that do the slow quiet work, the work that seems to be discarded, the conversations that happen in those spaces are the things that start allowing for issues to be discussed and action to be taken. It is a really powerful way to bring our communities together that a lot of people kind of discard,” said Jessica Wohl, associate professor of art.

“I have found over the years that quilting is essentially like painting, but you can hold the colors and the lines in your hand. What I’m trying to do with my work is provide some kind of healing or comfort to our community in these really difficult times when we’re being pitted against each other, when there are many layers of our system that separate people who live in the same community,” Wohl said.

Wilder said Bendolph will be visiting Sewanee Elementary school next week to work with the second, third and fourth graders. The students will learn how to hand piece.

“They’re going to be studying all the aspects of the quilts, and the art teacher has been working with the students on paper quilts using the Gee’s Bend style and techniques. Some of the students are taking a trip to the gallery to see the quilts. The fourth graders are going to be doing a poetry project in response to the quilt. It is a very multifaceted approach to teaching. Even the kindergarteners and first graders will be talking about the quilt in terms of color and patterns,” Wilder said. “With the pieces they make, we’re hoping to make a quilt for the school.”

On Friday, Sept. 13, at 5 p.m., at Convocation Hall, Louisiana Bendolph, Wilder and Wohl will lead a conversation about quilting, community and the remarkable creative achievement of the women of Gee’s Bend. Earlier in the day, Bendolph will attend an on-campus sewing circle, and the community is invited to attend. On Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m., in Convocation Hall, University students will perform a reading of Wilder’s play.

​Conversation on ‘The Cost of Silence,’ Sept. 10

The University of the South will host a public conversation with Beverly Daniel Tatum about “The Cost of Silence: Conversations on Race and Community.” Tatum is president emerita of Spelman College in Atlanta, and is widely known for both her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education.

The conversation with her will be held at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Convocation Hall, moderated by Cassie Meyer, director of Dialogue Across Difference Programs. The entire campus and community are invited. A Q&A session will follow.

Tatum will spend two days on the University of the South campus holding informal conversations with student leaders as well as with faculty and staff.

Tatum is the author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race,” now in its 20th anniversary edition.

Tatum is committed to starting difficult conversations to help solve problems and build community. As a leading voice on race and racism, she is often invited to speak to student and faculty groups, industry associations, and leadership groups to discuss how to engage communities in discussions about race and ways to close equity gaps now and in the future.

She was the 2013 recipient of the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award and the 2014 recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. Tatum holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Michigan, and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary.

Tatum’s visit is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Dean of the College, Dialogue Across Difference, Office of Civic Engagement, Center for Teaching, Center for Speaking and Listening, Center for Leadership, Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

​University Update on Cell Tower Site

The University of the South continues to partner with Vogue Towers and Verizon Wireless to improve cellular coverage and connectivity in our area. On Sept. 9, the University and Vogue will present to Sewanee’s Community Council an alternative site for a cell tower. The site proposed would be for a self-supporting tower near the water tower off of Breakfield Road. The presentation will clarify the regulatory and community processes prior to construction, outlining opportunities for the community to comment. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. and will be the first opportunity to learn more.

The University has asked Vogue and Verizon to provide evidence as to the location and height requirements to provide adequate cellular service to our community, in advance of a formal lease agreement and prior to proceeding with regulatory requirements. Information will include propagation maps, visualizations of the structure, and landscape plans. A balloon demonstration will also be discussed and scheduled at the site if deemed beneficial.

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