‘Hamlet’ Opens This Weekend

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

Lovers of Shakespeare are in for a treat this weekend as the University’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Hamlet.”

The performance is directed by James Crawford, associate professor of theatre, and will feature senior theatre major Dakota Collins in the role of Hamlet. Also involved with the production are professor Dan Backlund, who designed the set; professor Jennifer Matthews, who designed the costumes; guest artist David Wilkerson, who choreographed the climactic sword fight; and professor emeritus David Landon, who worked with the cast on Shakespeare’s language.

Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” follows the Prince of Denmark as he attempts to carry out his recently deceased father’s orders of avenging his death at the hand of his brother and successor, Claudius.

Crawford described the show as one of the greatest plays ever written — and for the department eager to perform under less restrictive COVID protocols than last year, something great perfectly fit the bill.

“‘Hamlet’ is moving, it’s funny, and it’s a thriller...and it’s one of those great shape-shifting plays that continues to reveal more as you move through your life, always new angles to explore. I think this is a particularly great play to work on with young actors as it’s a play about a young adult who’s forced to grow up fast when life throws him a difficult curve ball. A lot of people on campus can relate to that,” Crawford said. “Dakota Collins is taking on one of the most challenging roles ever written, and he’s throwing himself at it full force. He’s had a passion for Shakespeare long before he arrived at Sewanee, he’s got a work ethic that just won’t quit, and he’s a pleasure to work with. Everyone acting with him wants to live up to the high standard he sets for himself. Having him at the heart of the show has made my job much easier.”

Dakota Collins is a senior theatre major and has been acting since he was 15, spending summers with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Apprentice Company program.

He said it is his hope in playing the role of Hamlet to emphasize the humanity of the character, who at his core, is a young man grappling with the recent loss of his father.

“‘Hamlet’ is many things, and in the scheme of all this beautiful language, there’s so much Shakespeare has given an actor to grapple with. But I think, if one was to strip away all the nuance and murder plots and betrayals, at his core, Hamlet is [dealing with the] unimaginable. Grief like that, I think, would turn any man into a little boy — no matter how old or how young, no matter the quality of the relationship, in that moment of losing a father, you are a little boy again. So, to me, that’s what Hamlet is, at his heart. He’s just a little boy, and all the things that go along with it: the brutal honesty, the curiosity, the skinned knees, the hopefulness,” Collins said.

Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” opens on the University stage at 7:30 p.m., tonight, Friday, Oct. 22, in the Proctor Hill Theatre at the Tennessee Williams Center. Additional show times are 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct 23; 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24; 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-30; and 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31. Masks will be required.

The performances on opening weekend will be preceded by an Arts Amplified vocal performance in the lobby of the Tennessee Williams Center at 7 p.m., Oct. 22 and 23, and at 1:30 p.m., Oct. 24.

For tickets, visit <https://www.eventbrite.com/e/h...;.

University to Stream Met Opera Series

by Bailey BashamMessenger Staff Writer

Sewanee’s first streaming event as a part of the partnership with The New York Metropolitan Opera’s live transmission series, Live in HD, begins tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 23, with the acclaimed operatic performance, “Fire Shut Up In My Bones.”

Late last year, the University became one of 2,200 theatres and performing arts centers in more than 70 countries to host the Live in HD series in an effort to reach new audiences. The Met has an 80-year legacy of broadcasting performances to radio listeners around the world via the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. This practice laid the foundation for the Live in HD series.

“These broadcasts helped to make an opera lover out of me,” said Stephen Miller, chair of the Department of Music. “I grew up in rural Kansas, not exactly a place conducive to opera productions, and I just never saw them growing up, or even for quite a few years in early adulthood. But with these live broadcasts, from around 2006, I became more and more entranced by the musical, vocal and emotional power of these works.”

In a performance composed by Grammy Award–winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Charles M. Blow’s 2015 memoir comes to life on stage, detailing Blow’s experience growing up in a segregated Louisiana town. Blow, the baby of the family who clings madly to his mother, is forced to navigate the pain and confusion of being preyed upon by a cousin and an uncle while at the same time feeling a recurrent attraction to men.

This is the first opera by a Black composer to be presented on the Met’s stage.

“Just the thought that in the 138-year history of the Metropolitan Opera they’ve never previously done a work by a Black composer is stunning. We’re very excited that the first Ralston Room live broadcast of a Met production will be this one,” said Miller. “I’ve watched dozens if not hundreds of pre-recorded operas, and none of those experiences can compare to that of Live in HD.”

“Fire Shut Up In My Bones” will make its Sewanee debut in the William Ralston Listening Room located in duPont Library at noon CDT and is estimated to run for three hours and 10 minutes. The University will announce an encore screening of a recorded version at a later date. “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” addresses adult themes and contains some adult language.

To check for ticket availability, email <ralstonlistening@sewanee.edu>. For a complete schedule of the Met’s Live in HD series, visit <www.metopera.org/season/in-cinemas>.

Masks are required inside University buildings.

Carlos: Empathy, Creativity, and Mystical Vision

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

In the documentary “Carlos: Being of Light,” featuring Sewanee artist Ed Carlos, filmmaker Tyler Stallings takes the viewer behind the scenes into the mind of a man whose mystical visions compelled his brilliantly simple and simply brilliant philosophy of art. As a child, Carlos drew and engaged with rabbit figures who stood erect like humans. What some might call childhood fantasy evolved into a lifetime of engagement with the mystical and his transformation from “academic awareness into mystical” experiencing of the world.

Carlos has had more than 100 mystical encounters. In one, a flowing column of honey-like substance forms a passionflower, a botanical favorite of his. He said of the hayyoth, “holy beings” who guide him during encounters, “They know everything about you. They utilize what you know to teach you.” Anyone who has ever viewed a well-done portrait has experienced the artist engaging with the subject’s presence. “Creating a portrait is an invitation to enter into the psychic state of another,” Carlos said. “Empathy comes from collapsing the distance between yourself and the subject, which is what happens when making art and during the encounters.”

He couched the passionflower experience as a dream, when describing the encounter to his aesthetics class — “It made it much simpler to be a teacher without the rumors going around.” For Carlos, though, this was no dream.

“Papa taught [his students] not how to paint, but how to see,” said his daughter Malia. Embracing her father’s sage methodology, Malia recounted a childhood mystical experience to her English class. But the lesson was not well received. Concerned parents questioned the mental health of their children’s teacher. “That’s why you need to be careful when you teach,” her father told her.

Carlos’ 1990 experience on the island of Iona inspired the construction of Carlos’ Iona Art Sanctuary just a few miles from downtown Sewanee. In Scotland to do religious imagery for a church, Carlos visited the island on the priest’s suggestion. He made the visit nurturing a fascination with the shift from Druid to Christian Catholic spiritualism. There he witnessed a beam of light extending from the sea to the water. When he attempted to photograph “the light fall,” he felt himself falling backwards and into the presence of the hayyoth where he lost time for four or five hours. When he left the island, he found himself saying, “goodbye,” impressing upon him the certainty he had been with others.

“I was a different person from then on,” Carlos said. He acknowledged in the past he had “tried to deny images with which I didn’t want to relate…I tried to think them away.”

Carlos taught at the University for 36 years. He said of his final exhibit, a life size creche, “For me, the birth of Jesus is a metaphor for creation.”

“An image once objectified as art takes on its own reality and its own substance and power,” he explained. Commenting on how visitors experienced one of his installations at Iona, he said, “Every move you make, you see more…that’s what happens in the encounters.”

California-based filmmaker Stallings studied with Carlos in the 1980s. Doing research for an exhibit he curated, “Are we Touched? Identities from Outer Space,” Stallings reengaged with Carlos in John E. Mack’s book, “Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens,” which devotes a chapter to Carlos’ spiritual encounters. Senior curator at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion, Stallings has since curated several exhibitions that circle back to that theme. Dubbed a feature film by the San Diego Movie Awards and the OC Film Fiesta, “Carlos: Being of Light” premiers this week.

This rare and masterful film integrates the inner working of a mind with the life experiences of artistic genius. To view “Carlos: Being of Light” via online streaming, tickets $10, go to <https://watch.eventive.org/ocf...;.

Firefly Gallery Ribbon-Cutting

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

Over the last few months, the Franklin-Pearson house has undergone an artful transformation. On Thursday, Oct. 28, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will make things official — the Firefly Gallery will open its doors and join the ranks of local organizations sharing art with the community.

Owner of the Firefly Gallery, Rachel Thompson, said artistic expression is in her nature at the deepest level, and her connections to Cowan and Sewanee run just as deep.

“My mother was from Cowan, and my father attended the University of the South. Southern hospitality infused my upbringing, and I have fond memories of my grandmother, Maude Caperton, welcoming friends and family to her home with generosity, where there was always plenty of good food and love,” Thompson said. “Although Florida has been my primary residence most of my adult life, in recent years, [family roots have called me to the Mountain].”

Thompson bought the Franklin-Pearson house, known in the community as a beloved railroad hotel, in December 2020. Since then, she has spent much of her time renovating the building, preparing its walls to host works created by local artists.

“For the last several months the renovation of Franklin House has absorbed most of my time and focus. My next project is to transform what was the old barber shop into a working studio. This fall and winter, I will be working on a large horse triptych and a shepherdess holding a lamb. The regional beauty beckons me to paint some landscapes as well.”

One of those local artists, Ed Carlos, will have work exhibited at the gallery through Jan. 15, 2022. Thompson said she has long been inspired by Carlos’ work, in addition to nature and her own spirituality.

“I am also an aesthete and hope to contribute to making the world a more beautiful place visually, emotionally and spiritually. According to the Judaic concept of Tikkun Olam, everyone has their part to play in repairing the world,” Thompson said. “I believe that I was preconceived as an artist and that it is in our primordial DNA to create. Artists have a way of seeing the world uniquely and in doing so opening the eyes of others.”

The ribbon cutting will begin at 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28. Thompson extends a warm welcome to all. For more information about the gallery or to inquire about booking the building for special events, contact the general manager, Tom Buck at (931) 313-5930. Firefly Gallery is located at 108 Cumberland St., Cowan.

Webb to Retire as Director of Athletics

After more than a quarter-century of service to the University of the South, Athletic Director Mark Webb will retire effective Dec. 31, 2021.

In his role as director of athletics, Webb is responsible for 24 varsity sports, the intramural and club sports, and PE classes, as well as athletic facility improvements. He also serves on the Vice-Chancellor’s Cabinet, the body that provides institutional leadership and advises the vice-chancellor on issues of importance.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the University of the South for the past 26 years,” said Webb. “Professionally and personally, I cannot imagine a more rewarding position in all of college athletics, and my great hope is that I have contributed in a meaningful way to the life of this great institution.”

Mark Webb arrived in Sewanee in 1995 following 12 years in the athletic department at Vanderbilt University. During his tenure, Sewanee students have enjoyed great success athletically and academically. University teams have produced 34 team conference championships, 70 conference players of the year, and 39 conference coach of the year honorees. Numerous student-athletes have won national academic awards, including 16 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.

Since 1995, Sewanee Athletics has grown from 18 to 24 varsity sports with the addition of equestrian (1996), men’s and women’s indoor track and field (1996), softball (1999), and men’s and women’s lacrosse (2008). Webb has managed numerous improvements to the University’s athletic facilities, including at The Course at Sewanee (golf), the Howell Equestrian Center, Hardee-McGee Field (football and lacrosse), and Montgomery Field (baseball), as well as the addition of the Kyle Rote Jr. Fieldhouse at Puett Field (soccer).

He also oversaw the creation of the Sewanee Athletics Hall of Fame, and was a key participant in the formation of the Southern Athletic Association, of which Sewanee has been a member since its founding in 2012. He has served on several NCAA committees, including the District III NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

“It’s remarkable what Mark has built at Sewanee, especially in terms of both the expanded opportunities for our students and the improved facilities where student-athletes practice and play,” said University Provost Nancy Berner. “I am grateful for his steady hand in leading Sewanee’s Athletics Department for the past 26 years, and for his dedication to our students and to the ideals of sportsmanship.”

The University of the South will conduct a national search for a new athletic director.

McDermott to Present Haines Lecture

Novelist Alice McDermott will give a reading as part of the English Department’s Haines Lecture Series at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Convocation Hall. All are welcome to attend, and masks are mandatory inside university buildings.

Alice McDermott’s eighth novel, “The Ninth Hour,” was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in September 2017. Her seventh novel, “Someone,” 2013, was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Patterson Prize for Fiction, and The Dayton Literary Peace Prize. “Someone” was also long-listed for the National Book Award. Three of her previous novels, “After This,” “At Weddings and Wakes” and “That Night,” were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. “Charming Billy” won the National Book Award for fiction in 1998 and was a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award. “That Night” was also a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her new collection of essays is “What about the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction.” Her stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Harpers, Commonweal and elsewhere. She has received the Whiting Writers Award, the Carington Award for Literary Excellence, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for American Literature. In 2013, she was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. For more than two decades she was the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the faculty at the Sewanee Writers Conference. McDermott lives with her family outside Washington, D.C.

Welcome to the South Music Festival on Nov. 6

Country music singer-songwriter and native son of South Pittsburg, Corey Layne, is producing with the assistance of sponsors, Martin & Company, Collins Building Materials and US101 (WUSY-FM/100.7 in Chattanooga) and WEPG, the River (104.9) the Welcome to the South Music Festival. This outdoor music festival will be held Saturday, Nov. 6, in downtown South Pittsburg. It will feature established country music artists Texas Hill, Corey Layne, Dave Fenley, Kyndal Inskeep, Chase Wilson and Brent Michael Wood.

The six-hour music festival is being billed as a celebration of Layne’s hometown, South Pittsburg, and as a show of support for healthcare workers and first responders after Layne suffered a serious bout with COVID-19. Held within days of Veterans Day 2021, the festival will also honor and provide time to reflect on the sacrifice of the nation’s veterans and active military.

Texas Hill is composed of bandmembers Craig Wayne Boyd and Adam Wakefield of The Voice, and Casey James from American Idol, whose overlapping musical tastes and distinct voices have formed a signature sound easily recognizable as a bold harmonic trio that brings out the best of each of their Southern-rich voices. Boyd and Wakefield placed first and second on separate seasons of NBC’s The Voice, while James placed third on ABC’s American Idol.

Layne is the driving force for this music festival. A soulful singer songwriter with a recent single titled “Excuse Me,” Layne and special guest Chase Wilson both met on The Voice and have parallel backgrounds and aspirations. Layne’s singles, “Let’s Take Tonight” and “Stay with Me” have garnered the attention of the Nashville music scene and elicited fans nationwide. Dave Fenley, a contestant on Season 15 of the Voice, was eliminated in the Top 10, but not before he made believers across the nation of his diverse musical abilities as part of Team Blake. Rounding out the festival will be the ethereal music by Kyndal Inskeep, also a former contestant on The Voice and Brent Michael Wood, a talented Nashville based singer/songwriter recently returned from Denmark, whose music is a tasty mix of rock, blues, country and soul.

Food and beverage vendors include the local American Legion Post, the South Pittsburg Area Revitalization Quest (SPARQ), and Uncle Curt’s Burger food truck.

Layne said, “I love my hometown. We are known mostly for our National Cornbread Festival and the Lodge cast iron foundry and store. As with many small towns, the last two years has been rough on small businesses and our primary fundraiser to help local nonprofits has been cancelled two years in a row. The National Cornbread Festival typically brings in 30,000 visitors, so this has been a big hit to all our main street businesses. This festival allows me to do something in return for my hometown and promote some fabulous new talent along the way.”

As a celebration of the sacrifices of our active military and veterans, Waypoint Vets will attend the festival sharing information on how to support their mission to provide adventures free of charge to veterans. Open to all branches of service, founder Sarah Lee started this 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of uniting and empowering veterans through activities and adventure. Struck by the number of veteran suicides, Lee first took a 4,010-mile coast-to-coast cycling journey to bring attention to the need to support veterans. Today, more than 100 veterans have completed adventures free of charge with more to be completed by year’s end.

Tickets will only be sold on the day of the event beginning at 10 a.m. The event is being held from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The price for admission is $20 per person and children 10 and under are admitted free of charge. All healthcare workers, first responders, veterans, and active military (all branches) will be admitted to the show at half-price for $10 with a valid I.D.

Donations are being planned from the net proceeds from the event to benefit two nonprofits: SPARQ formed to cultivate the community’s economic, social and cultural growth; and the South Pittsburg Ministerial Association that assists the homeless and underserved.


Franklin County Needs 41 Additional TN Promise Mentors

With the Dec. 3 deadline less than two months away, tnAchieves needs an additional 5,900 volunteer mentors across the state to support TN Promise applicants from the Class of 2022. Locally, Franklin County still needs 41 mentors to meet its goal of 58.

TN Promise, in partnership with tnAchieves, allows every graduating high school senior the opportunity to attend a community or technical college tuition-free with mentor support.

Mentors spend one hour a month assisting students as they transition from high school to college. In 2022, mentors will have the choice to serve their students either virtually or in person depending on the mentor’s preference.

Many of the students that apply for the scholarship will be the first in their families to attend college. Mentors work with students to overcome barriers that previously prevented students from accessing higher education. In 2022, mentors will play a critical role in helping to reverse negative enrollment trends brought on by the pandemic.

“The Class of 2022 has faced countless obstacles and challenges in their pursuit of a high school diploma,” said tnAchieves Director of Mentors Tyler Ford. “tnAchieves mentors offer the personal support and encouragement many students need to ensure their transition to college is smooth as they begin their post-secondary career motivated and prepared to realize their full potential.”

Graham Thomas, tnAchieves Deputy Director of Partnerships and Government Relations added, “Ultimately there is no substitute for a committed, caring local support system. Our mentors offer support to students who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn for guidance through the college-going process.”

Mentors will be provided with an online training and a handbook to help navigate the program. Volunteers will also receive weekly updates from tnAchieves and have access to our staff for questions and concerns.

Potential mentors must be 21 years of age and are subject to a background check. For more information or to apply, go to <http://www.tnachieves.org/ment...; or contact tnAchieves Director of Mentors Tyler Ford at (309) 945-3446 or <tyler@tnAchieves.org>.

Jimmy Hall in Concert

The Sewanee Business Alliance is hosting a Safe-n-Sound concert 7–9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16, in Angel Park. Masks and social distancing are requested. University Avenue will be closed for this event from the highway to Regions Bank starting at 5:30 p.m. 

Taking the stage is Jimmy Hall. Hall first gained notoriety as the lead vocalist, saxophonist, and harmonica player for the band Wet Willie, which emerged from Mobile, Ala., in 1970. His unique brand of R&B-infused rock ‘n’ roll swagger propelled the group’s “Keep On Smilin’” to the Top 10 on the Billboard singles chart in 1974. After five albums with Capricorn Records, Wet Willie moved to the Epic label in 1977, carrying the singles “Street Corner Serenade” and “Weekend” to the Top 40. As a solo artist, Hall appeared in the Top 40 yet again with “I’m Happy That Love Has Found You” in 1980. His songs have been recorded by Gregg Allman, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Blackberry Smoke, Johnny Russell, and others. Hall has been a vocalist and bandleader for Hank Williams Jr. since the 1980s. Hall is an inductee of both the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He has toured as a vocalist with Jeff Beck’s U.S. tour over the years.

Lu Making Magic

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

In Tiffany Lu’s world, conducting is about the closest she can get to making magic. There is little more miraculous than waving the conducting wand and hearing the pieces jump to life right off the paper.

In her second year as visiting assistant professor of orchestral conducting, Lu hopes to share that magic with the Sewanee community as this season’s conductor of the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra (SSO).

Originally from Tampa, Fla., Lu completed most of her conducting and violin education in the northeast United States, moving from New Jersey to upstate New York, and most recently to the D.C. area where she earned her doctorate in orchestral conducting in 2019.

“I’ve been a violinist since I was three and playing in orchestras since I was 13, though I didn’t get on a conducting podium until my junior year in undergrad,” Lu said. “With the SSO, most of our time is spent in rehearsals, and it’s hard and detailed work. Fortunately, we have a super dynamic and engaged department of music at the University that understands that music is about community, and a symphony is one of the greatest expressions of that because you can feel the community on stage as well as off.”

Lu said that ubiquitous sense of community is one of the main reasons she was drawn to music as a child, one of the reasons music has not lost its magic years later.

“Having participated in that community from a very young age, it was one of the few to which I felt I unquestionably belonged, always. I really hope that the group is that, for all of its members–students, professors, and non-University community members,” she said.

The symphony orchestra’s first concert was held on Oct. 2, and featured Georges Bizet’s “L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2,” and a symphonic suite from “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” by Howard Shore and arranged by John Whitney.

“Following a very successful first concert, it’s nice to feel like I’ve finally arrived in Sewanee. Technically, I have already been Orchestra Director here for a year but starting a job like this under COVID circumstances was limiting, obviously, in terms of what we were able to put out into the community. In some ways, it feels like I am starting the job all over again. But we had a very successful COVID year in orchestra, getting to experiment with alternative formats, venues, and music free of the pressures of public performance. Now the group is at record enrollment, and ready to take on many more seasons of music-making,” she said.

The second concert of the season will be at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3, in Guerry Auditorium. Mark your calendars for a performance featuring Christmas music from the big screen and a world premiere work by a member of University Faculty.

Franklin County Schools: Fund Balance, Arts, Apathy

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Oct. 11 meeting, the Franklin County School Board approved two resolutions generated by an increase in the available fund balance. The short agenda allowed the board to share thoughts on the arts, sports, decreasing student participation in voluntary endeavors, and the need for teachers.

The resolutions provided for a $407,110 increase in the current fund balance, money held in reserve. The school system failed to spend the amount budgeted for special education in the 2020-2021 school year. The unspent sum will be returned to the fund balance. “You have to spend a dollar more each year than you did the year before,” Director of Schools Stanley Bean said explaining the maintenance-of-effort requirement governing the budgeting process. “We did not meet our maintenance of effort last year in special education.”

“It makes sense since we had abbreviated school,” Board Vice Chair Lance Williams said. “We’re looking for ways to spend money in special education,” Bean said. “We may be hiring some more aides.” Bean confirmed there was a shortage of both special education aides and teachers.

Turning attention to non-agenda items, Board Member Sara Liechty applauded hiring a second art teacher at Franklin County High School and the return of the choral program, which was thriving. She praised Bean for his support of the arts.

Bean said a former student had undertaken a film project documenting the history of sports at FCHS beginning in 1950. “We’re trying to generate some interest again,” Bean stressed. “We’re struggling to have interest.” He cited South Middle School not having enough interested players to form teams and the high school band having only 50 members.

Supporting extracurricular programs would encourage teachers to come to Franklin County, Liechty observed.

“We need to promote teaching as a profession in our schools,” Williams said referencing the “Grow Your Own” philosophy.

Board Chair CleiJo Walker said there were only four applicants last year for the county scholarship for those going into the teaching profession.

Board member Christine Hopkins suggested a campaign where teachers talked about the positive aspects of teaching to sell the idea of teaching as a profession.

“We need to take care of those we have now before bringing others on board,” insisted Board Member Linda Jones.

SUD: Road Project Update, Planning Questions

by Leslie LytleMessenger Staff Writer

At the Oct. 12 meeting, Sewanee Utility District manager Ben Beavers updated the board of commissioners on the TDOT project to narrow Highway 41A. During discussion about the pro forma data analysis underway, the board raised several long-range planning questions.

Asked about the current lack of activity on the TDOT project, Beavers said the retaining wall and 60-70 percent of the storm drain was completed. The decision to replace less sewer lines than initially planned for “saved them a month and a half,” Beavers observed. “They are so far ahead, they have extra time, so they pulled up and went to another project,” he speculated. “They have until May of next year to complete this.” The project is ready for sidewalks on the Cowan side going toward Taylor’s. The south side sidewalk will be part of the Mountain Goat Trail. On the north side, there will be a 6-foot green space between the sidewalk and the curb. The highway center line will remain the same.

Taking up the Pro Forma analysis prepared by SUD accountant Don Mills, SUD commissioners posed several questions. The analysis looks 10 years back and 10 years into the future. SUD President Charlie Smith questioned whether the 10-year projection considered future inflation or based inflation on the past 10 years. Commissioner Doug Cameron said the projected $150,000 increase in sewer revenue seemed “extravagant.” Beavers concurred. He questioned whether the figure was based on increased rates or increased customers. Beavers noted the University planned to release 10 more residential lots, which would need sewer service, but other than the Wiggins Creek and Parson’s Green developments, SUD had seen no substantial increase in sewer customers in the past 20 years. He also pointed out Wiggins Creek Phase Three would likely be a smaller development of less than 20 homesites.

Mills had asked Beavers to provide information on long-range capital projects. Beavers said SUD should have an engineer evaluate the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) lagoons. He speculated draining the lagoons and installing a liner to prevent seepage might be necessary, but he could not budget for the cost without advice. Looking further ahead, Beavers said the WWTP spray fields would likely be converted to a drip system eventually. When preparing the 2022 budget, Beavers plans to collect data on long-range operating plant and capital equipment expenses.

In his manager’s report, Beavers said SUD experienced no sewer overflows during the recent heavy rainfall and praised SUD employees who worked in the downpour until 1 a.m. one night searching for waterline leaks caused by lightning strikes. Financially, Beavers said revenue was normal for this time of year, up 6 percent from last year. Although a 20 percent increase in chemical costs will increase expenses beyond the budgeted amount, Beavers said he hoped to finish the year in a positive net position by minimizing other expenses. In 2020, SUD finished the year in a negative net position due to reduced water sales because students were absent for long periods and summer programs were cancelled.

SUD customers will elect two commissioners in January. Commissioner Paul Evans will seek reelection. Commissioner Randall Henley is term limited and cannot run again. The board hopes to identify six candidates for the two open seats. SUD customers interested in serving as commissioner should contact Beavers at the SUD office.

The Hospitality Shop Needs You

The Hospitality Shop, Sewanee’s one-stop shop on University Avenue across from the Sewanee Inn, has for 50 years provided the tri-county area with an enticing variety of must-haves for home and wardrobe. Right now the staff is looking for more volunteers to keep the doors open.

There are four departments at the shop. Each department requires a clerk to arrange donations and write checkout tickets. The departments are housewares and gifts, men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes with books, toys, games and puzzles. Everyone is welcome to be clerks in these departments as well as the checkout cashier.

The shop hours are Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturday at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please call (931) 924-5064 to volunteer.

Please consider volunteering. Profits are used to give scholarships to high school seniors interested in the medical field and to health care workers for continuing education.

The Hospitality Shop is also in need of donations of gently used clothes and décor items. Generous giving in this area allows us to sell items at thrift store prices to the customers.

The Hospitality Shop is a great place to find everyday items as well as the unusual, such as a Bento Box lunch kit, a towel warmer and an antique Bermuda doll. There are Halloween costumes for all ages.

The board is planning a Silent Auction featuring some of our finest wares during Reunion Weekend, Nov. 5–7. The building needs some deferred maintenance. More information will be posted on this event in the near future.

Most Rev. Michael B. Curry Visits Sisters of St. Mary

Last week the Sisters of St. Mary were visited by the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, famously known as being the preacher at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back in 2018. “I can’t say how supported we felt and how honored we were to have Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and his Executive Coordinator, Sharon Jones, visit the Community of St. Mary. In spite of his very busy schedule, Bishop Curry spent most of the afternoon with us. Together, we toured the convent, visited with guests, friends, volunteers, and staff on the grounds, and discussed the Community’s ministries and history. And at the end of the tour, the Sisters, the Bishop, and Sharon enjoyed refreshments outside and spent some quality time telling stories, discussing our hopes and concerns, and hearing the Bishop’s impressions and ideas,” said Sr. Madeleine Mary, CSM. The Sisters of St. Mary have been in Sewanee since 1888 and continue their ministry of prayer and care for the body, the soul, and the earth. To learn more about the Community, you can check out their website at <https://www.communityofstmarys...;.

Babson Center Welcomes Cook Lecture, Oct. 21

Halsey Cook, Jr., C’85, president and CEO of Milliken & Company, will be the Babson Center’s Graham Executive-in-Residence for the 2021 Advent semester. Asserting Milliken’s purpose of positively impacting the world around us, Cook will illuminate how and why he is focused on innovation and collaboration to deliver sustainable solutions to our global community.

While on campus, Cook will meet with students and faculty. He will deliver a campus presentation titled, “Why and How: Ethics, Innovation, and the Environment,” at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 21, in the Torian Room at duPont Library, co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Chemistry. All are welcome.

With 30-years of experience in global business with manufacturing, technology, and distribution networks, Cook has taken a values-based approach to leadership at Milliken. Milliken, founded in 1865 with over 7,000 current employees, is a materials science and manufacturing company in the chemical, flooring, textile, and healthcare industries. Recently, Milliken was named to the World’s Most Ethical Companies list by Ethisphere Institute for 15 straight years. From redesigning more sustainable plastic packaging for Ferrero-Rocher chocolates, donating hospital gowns to a Singapore customer, to creating sustainable carpeting inspired by whales’ songs, Milliken has proven that it can be profitable while being socially and environmentally responsible. Their sustainability goals for 2025 include reducing their environmental footprint, solving the plastic end-of-life challenge, and caring for all the people who are a part of their communities including volunteering and supporting inclusion and diversity.

Prior to his work at Milliken, Cook was the president of Sonepar, a global distributor of electrical products and related solutions, in Charleston, South Carolina, and president of United Technologies and Legrand North America, a manufacturer of electrical and digital building infrastructure. During his time at Legrand, Cook sponsored internships for Sewanee students and paid semester internships for Carey Fellows at the Babson Center.

At Sewanee, Cook played on the lacrosse team, served on the Discipline Committee, and graduated with a double major in English and Economics. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. Currently, he is a trustee on the Belle W. Baruch Foundation in South Carolina and on the board of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. He is also a director of Southwire Company, global manufacturer of wire, cable, and tools located in Carrollton, Georgia.

The Graham Executive in Residence program was established by Diane and Henry H. Graham Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla. The Graham residencies bring distinguished business leaders to the Sewanee campus to offer insight into business leadership issues and have career meetings with students. For more information about the Babson Center for Global Commerce and our events, please visit https://new.sewanee.edu/academ...

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