by Leslie Lytle
Messenger Staff Writer
“If we get three or four new buildings in the next five years, I’m declaring victory,” said Frank Gladu, Vice President of Administrative Services who oversees the University initiative to revitalize downtown Sewanee. Gladu addressed the EQB at the Oct. 19 lunch meeting, updating the group on the Sewanee Village Plan, which originated five years ago in conjunction with the University Master Plan’s new vision.
“We want the downtown area to be a place for visitors,” Gladu said, “but even more important, we want it to be a place students, faculty, and staff can feel part of.” Gladu acknowledged using the words “village” and “downtown” interchangeably, stressing the importance of defining the boundaries of the area which includes 130 leaseholds. In July, the County Commission approved rezoning the area to mixed-use allowing for both commercial and residential development.
“Our priorities are the Highway 41A intersection, a grocery-type market, a village green, and housing,” Gladu said.
“We want to support the businesses already here,” he insisted. “We know we need more housing.” Gladu emphasized that being “able to support more people” was a prerequisite to expanding retail development.
Two years ago, the University retained Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative (TPUDC) to guide the planning process. Discussions with the Franklin County Planning Commission (FCPC) resulted in amendments to county zoning regulations which will facilitate implementation of the plan.
The FCPC recently voted to allow increased population density for residences and to allow residences which did not front a county street. This makes possible cottage-court type housing where small residences are arranged in a circular pattern to share a communal space.
To identify developers interested in presenting viable designs consistent with the Sewanee Village Plan, the University issued a Request for Qualifications in August. Gladu said three developers have already responded, two with proposals for cottage-court style residences.
The Sewanee Village Plan actively involves both sides of Highway 41A, calling for street-side parking along the highway and some sort of pedestrian activated crosswalk.
Gladu said the parking shortage on University Ave. would be addressed by street-side parking and parking behind the businesses. In keeping with regulations, handicapped parking will be incorporated into the design.
Speaking to concerns about the future of the Senior Citizens’ Center and Community Center, Gladu said, “There is no plan to move the Senior Center or Community Center at the present. When that day comes we’ll work with them to relocate. Both are important parts of the Village. We want them in downtown.”
Gladu came to Sewanee in 2012 to oversee the transition of University Food Service to self-management and quickly became involved in the initiative to revitalize downtown. “I welcome the views of those who have far more experience in this place than I do,” he said.
Asked about the future of the Sewanee Village Plan and if it would be abandoned if there was a change in administration, Gladu acknowledged, “That’s always a possibility. The Sewanee Village Plan is a plan for the ages. The hope is that it will be incorporated into future master plans. My charge is to see that it moves forward.”
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
On Nov. 8, Sewanee residents will elect 12 members to the Sewanee Community Council, two members in each of the four districts and four at-large members. All council seats are open for election. The candidate receiving the most votes in each district will serve a four-year term, with the runner-up serving a two-year term. The same rule applies to at-large seats, with the two candidates receiving the most votes serving four-year terms and the runners-up serving two-year terms.
The candidates were asked to address the following questions: how long have you lived in Sewanee?; what are your qualifications?; and why do you want to serve on the council? Here are their replies.
David Coe, Candidate for District One: I am running for reelection to my seat in District One. I have lived in Sewanee for 24 years. I’ve built a house here, raised children here, done countless book signings at the University Bookstore. I’ve been Treasurer of Sewanee Youth Soccer, Coordinator of the Sewanee Food Buying Club, President of the St. Andrew’s-Sewanee Parents’ Council, and, since 2008, a member of the Community Council. I am connected to the University by marriage—my wife, Nancy Berner, is Vice President for Planning and Administration. But in my years on the Council I have been an independent, at times outspoken voice, supporting University initiatives when I believe they serve the interests of the community, and opposing them whenever I feel they don’t. I will continue to speak my mind for as long as the people of District One trust me to be their representative.
Flournoy Rogers, candidate for District One: Since moving from Memphis to District One in Sewanee in 2005, I have been impressed with the willingness of its citizens to address community concerns. Working with groups and serving on boards since grade school, I know the importance of active community participation. The Sewanee Woman’s Club and the Fourth of July Committee introduced me to many aspects of life here. The Sewanee Community Council will be an opportunity to expand by hearing District One concerns, passing them to a larger forum, adding a touch of urban perspective, and sharing in enhancing all the possibilities of this singular place. I look forward to phone calls, emails and being button-holed on the streets.
Louise Irwin, candidate for District Two: I was born, raised and educated in Sewanee, and following business school I moved to Illinois. After 17 years I returned to Sewanee with three children and my husband who had multiple sclerosis. Dick died in 1974. I got involved with the “going ons” in Sewanee because I must keep busy. I’m currently serving on the Community Council and seeking re-election. I am a member of Folks-at-Home, the American Legion Auxiliary, Sewanee Senior Citizens, Franklin County Resource Development Association, Franklin County Sheriff’s Civil Service Board, and several more committees. I am also a member of Otey Memorial Parish Church. I’m a people person. I’m civic minded and do love my hometown of Sewanee. I help people in any way I can. I care what happens to our community.
Pamela C. Byerly, candidate for District Two: In November of 1998 I moved to Sewanee and went to work in the Office of Marketing and Communications. I am happily still there. After I was here a couple of years, I moved to Willie Six Road in District Two and decide to try out for the Community Council. I have been on the council ever since. On the council I served as secretary for several years. I am currently the liaison to the Leasehold Committee and also a liaison to the Trustees Community Committee, which meets twice a year. I enjoy being involved in the community. I am also a member of the University Employee Advisory Committee, and at Otey Parish I am in my second year on the vestry.
Pixie Dozier, candidate for District Three: I am currently a council member and agreed to be on the ballot because I am interested in the relationship between town and gown. The Community Council membership now reflects a good cross section of members from the community and the University. I served for two years on the council’s Community Funding Project, which supports initiatives to improve the quality of life for Sewanee citizens. A short list of my work in the community includes service to the hospital, several churches, Senior Citizens, CAC, the public school and the Children’s Center. I have served on many boards, both appointed and elected. I have had the opportunity to be involved with the citizens in Sewanee in many capacities. I can relate to their wants and needs. I am interested in making our community safe, improving the quality of life and seeing Sewanee get better and better.
Charles Whitmer, candidate for District Three: Charles Whitmer came to Sewanee in 2010 with his wife Kelly who is a professor of history at the University. Since arriving in Sewanee he has undertaken graduate coursework in Conflict Management at Lipscomb University focusing on mediation and conflict resolution and currently works for a local nonprofit organization and as a mediator in the local courts. As a council member he would focus on advocating for more transparent policies in regard to the University’s relationship with the broader Sewanee community and addressing the unintentional adverse consequences of those policies.
Richard Barrali, candidate for District Four : I’ve resided in Sewanee for almost three years, but my Sewanee connection dates from August 1977 when my car broke down in front of Ed Carlos’s house on Tennessee Ave. After that auspicious beginning, I visited Ed and Sewanee many times while living on Signal Mountain before moving here permanently in the Spring of 2014. I graduated from Memphis State University and recently became a substitute teacher at SES. I am also trained to teach Mindful Self Compassion and plan to offer classes with my co-teacher, Maryellen McCone. I currently teach yoga at the Sewanee Community Center. I served on many committees in the Chattanooga area. I have a vested interest in seeing the Sewanee community flourish and thrive. As a council member, I’ll work towards encouraging a healthy collaboration between the University and other Sewanee residents. I’m also committed to making Sewanee as ecologically efficient and green as possible.
Phil White, candidate for District Four: I came here as a student in 1959 and never left, except for completing a Master’s of English degree and other studies during vacations. I retired in 2004 after 41 years of teaching English, first at the Sewanee Military Academy, followed by the Sewanee Academy, and most recently St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School. My teaching years included serving as activities director, literary magazine sponsor, soccer coach and golf coach. Since retiring, I served on the Otey vestry and Community Council. I wish to continue to promote policies and programs that bring the University and the Mountain community closer together. While on the council, I co-authored a request for a lowering of the University transfer fee, which was subsequently reduced from 6 to 4 percent. I also received approval from the Council for a dog park, and with the help of the University, dedicated citizens, and generous donors, the dog park was completed.
Annie Armour, At-large candidate: Annie Armour is a 1977 graduate of the University and a 36-year resident of Sewanee. Janet, Sarah and Meg are her grown daughters and she has two grandsons. She has served on the Community Council for 14 years. She has also held other leadership positions in the Sewanee and St. Andrew’s communities. Annie was the University Archivist for 28 years. She has published many articles and two books about the history of Sewanee. She brings a historical perspective and an openness to change to the Council. She would like to play an active role in resolving the issues that arise affecting our community.
Cindy Potter, At-large candidate: Sewanee has been my family’s home since 1980 when my husband, Bran, joined the University’s faculty. Much of my life here has focused on serving area children. I taught at Sewanee Children’s Center and was the PTO sponsored librarian at S.E.S. before spending 25 years teaching in the Franklin County Schools (two years in Sherwood and Oak Grove and 23 at Sewanee Elementary). When sixth grade moved to Jackson Jr. High, I joined the St. Andrew’s-Sewanee school community and helped begin the sixth grade program there. I also created a summer enrichment program for area children. Teaching has always been my deepest passion and enriched my life beyond measure, but I have been active in other areas of our community. I recently joined the CAC Board and in the past served on the Community Council and Duck River Board. I look forward to serving in new ways.
Kate Reed, At-large candidate: I have been on the council since late March as a representative to District One completing an unexpired term. I’m seeking election to an at-large seat. I’ve resided in Sewanee since August 2013 and just bought my first house in the downtown village district this spring. I am grateful for the home I have found in Sewanee and seek to serve the community in this period of thoughtful planning for our future. I look forward to a lifetime in Sewanee, and I hope through the Community Council to strengthen the relationships that make this town so special.
Theresa Shackelford, At-large candidate: Sewanee has been the adopted hometown of Theresa Shackelford for more than 30 years. She has been a full time resident of Sewanee since 2007. Theresa has been actively involved in the community as a member of the boards of the SES PTO, Sewanee Civic Association, Sewanee Woman’s Club, Thurmond Library and the Community Chest. She has served two terms on the Community Council as a representative of District Two. During that time, she has served on the constitutional revision committee, the committee to appropriate community funds and as the 2015 election officer. Theresa has one child, William Gilchrist, who is a sophomore at High Point University in High Point, NC.
Early voting for Community Council continues through Nov. 7 at the Lease Office.
Special thanks to Tabatha Whitsett in the Provost’s Office for her help in gathering photos and information from the candidates.
by Kevin Cummings
Messenger Staff Writer
In Founder’s Hall at the Sewanee Inn, people munched on pan roasted chicken with lemon caper butter sauce as Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump tried to earn their vote for President.
Approximately 50 people who participated in the limited-seating DebateWatch event on Oct. 19 were primarily Sewanee students, but peppered throughout the crowd were professors, University employees and community members. This was the fourth DebateWatch, a group watch party co-sponsored by Sewanee’s Center for Speaking and Listening and Office of Civic Engagement, plus three student groups: No Labels, Sewanee College Republicans and Sewanee Democrats.
Sean O’Rourke, professor of rhetoric and director of the Center for Speaking and Listening, moderated the evening.
“Our effort with DebateWatch is to promote independent thought and expression, civic engagement, and political discussion and debate by listening closely to the debate and only the debate—no commentators saying who ‘won’ and who ‘lost,’ focusing our discussions around three or four questions, and sharing our thoughts in the larger open forum,” he said.
Following the final presidential debate, tables discussed various questions as a group and then individuals shared their views with the entire audience. The evening also featured instant polling using a Smartphone app called “Poll Everywhere.” Organizers showed the results on the big screen. The majority of those in attendance felt that Clinton presented herself better in the debate.
About 10 percent of pollsters said they had a more favorable view of Trump after the event, compared to about 48 percent who said they viewed Clinton more favorably after the debate. Approximately 55 percent of those polled said they had the same unfavorable view of Trump compared to 21 percent who held the same unfavorable view of Clinton after the debate.
Those who said they held the same favorable view of Trump post debate were at about 24 percent, while about 4 percent said the same of Clinton.
Sewanee’s Deb Dreves, a registered Republican who attended DebateWatch, said on Oct. 24 that she did not plan to vote for Trump.
“I really appreciated being part of the event—it gave me a hands-on feel for what was transpiring; it was helpful,” she said. “No surprises, but I did appreciate that there was one young man who spoke out on Donald Trump’s behalf. As a Republican this has been a divisive year—while I don’t agree with the young man’s sentiment, I am glad there are still some who believe the Republican Party is worth standing up for.”
On the question of which candidate offered a better vision of America, about 72 percent of those participating in the poll chose Clinton as opposed to nine percent for Trump, with the rest voting “even” or “neither.”
Some people in attendance said Clinton displayed a better depth of knowledge, but Trump was effective in using emotional responses and utilizing ambiguity.
J.D. Thompson, a Sewanee senior who donned a Trump T-shirt, said he was disappointed in the candidate’s performance.
“He has always done a better job of seeming more authentic,” Thompson said, “but at the same time he was much less articulate and didn’t make his points well. She obviously did a lot more prepping and did a better job executing. Her answers were obviously much more articulate, better prepared.”
Thompson also said that Clinton should have offered a defense when Trump accused her campaign of inciting violence at Trump rallies.
A number of people disagreed with Trump’s stand that he may not accept the results of the election. The primary tone of the evening among supporters of both candidates was civil and polite.
“In my view, our discussions went very well,” O’Rourke said. “One key test is whether participants can see past, or perhaps through, their own preferences and political biases to see what was said well or poorly, who answered questions well and who did not, who provided detail and evidence and who did not. I think the group did an especially good job.”
With cold cups of coffee and cheesecake crumbs littering the table, some attendees carried on their political discussions after the event.
Early voting continues until Nov. 3, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m.–noon at the Franklin County Election Commission, 839 Dinah Shore Blvd., in Winchester. For more information on other counties and sample ballots, visit <tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php>.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
“Wetland plants were well established suggesting the water line in the Jackson Point Road area had been leaking a long time,” SUD manager Ben Beavers reported at the Oct. 25 meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Sewanee Utility District of Franklin and Marion Counties. Former SUD commissioner and board president Cliff Huffman alerted SUD when he discovered the wetlands, Beavers said.
Repairing the 14,000 gallons per day leak will result in a dramatic decrease in unaccounted for water loss, Beavers emphasized. Not only was SUD not being paid for the water, producing that much water takes from 20-25 minutes per day. “SUD will also realize a savings in chemical and electricity costs,” Beavers said.
In another water supply issue, SUD commissioner Randall Henley said he’d received numerous phone calls asking why SUD had not addressed the low water pressure in the Midway community.
“This has been going on for years,” Henley said.
SUD’s 2016 budget calls for a pressure boosting station in Midway. “I’ve been trying to figure out a way to increase the water pressure without the expense of the pressure boosting station,” Beavers said. When recent remedial work to St. Andrew’s-Sewanee water tank failed to correct the problem, he consulted with engineers who proposed raising the height of the tank, a solution just as costly at the pressure boosting station.
“Plans call for completing the Midway pressure boosting station before the end of the year,” Beavers said. “The only task remaining before we begin installation is getting the electrical easement signed.”
Beavers said the Midway project was temporarily delayed due to the pressing need to replace more than 400 feet of broken clay pipe sewer line in the Alto Road area, which allows rain water to flow into the collection system and cause sewage overflows. “The right of way has been cleared, and we’re ready to install the pipe,” Beavers said. SUD is also doing collection system repair on Depot Branch.
Discussing the 2017 capital improvements budget, Beavers said, once the Midway project and collection system work was completed, most of the critical capital improvement needs would be addressed. “We’ve been putting out brush fires. I want to move to more preventative stuff,” he said, “particularly leak detection.” He estimates a $100,000 capital improvements budget, compared to $200,000-$300,000 in past years.
Reporting on operations, Beavers said he declined the University’s request to fill its irrigation pond, “due to the drought conditions.” Water sales are below budget for 2016.
Commissioner Henley offered to serve as election coordinator. The SUD Board of Commissioners will have one open seat beginning in 2017. All SUD customers are eligible to serve as commissioner. Prospective candidates should contact Randal Henley via the SUD office (598-5611) or, alternately, submit a petition signed by 10 SUD customers by Jan. 4. Petitions are available at the SUD office. Voting begins on Jan. 5 and continues through the close of the business day on Jan. 24.
The SUD board meets next on Monday, Nov. 21.
by Kevin Cummings
Messenger Staff Writer
“Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace, whose sounds caress my ear...”
The Sewanee Symphony Orchestra will look to caress some ears as they perform “Kashmir,” with a rock band on Friday, Nov. 4, during the SSO’s fourth annual Halloween Concert. The Led Zeppelin hit is part of an eclectic event, juxtaposing classical and popular music, said César Lear, the symphony’s conductor.
“What young audiences have on their iPods is eclectic,” he noted. “This musical arrangement for the Halloween concert doesn’t necessarily scare people but it brings an element of the fantastic.”
Merging rock and classical music is a delicate process.
“It was a challenge to come in with rock guitars and amps and acoustic instruments like violins,” Leal said.
Along with “Kashmir,” the symphony will also perform Liszt’s 19th-century piece “Totentanz” (Dance of the Dead) featuring Sewanee senior Sherlock Xu; music from Offenbach’s operetta “Orpheus in the Underworld;” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Professor of violin Peter Povey is responsible for arranging the music for both “Kashmir” and “Pirates” and will play the electric violin. Povey updated Kashmir for the Sewanee concert, but he originally created the arrangement for the Montgomery Symphony in 2011.
The suite from “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” by Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer features an ending arranged by Povey and a special simultaneous movie presentation.
“We’re really stretching the technical boundaries of Guerry Auditorium,” Leal said. “We will have some projections, images, lights and sounds.”
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at Guerry Auditorium, but that morning, the SSO will also give a special concert for about 500 area grade school students. The sorority Phi Kappa Epsilon (PKE) is involved in planning the festivities.
Molly Mueller, who is co-community service chair of PKE with M.C. Murphy, said the theme of the event is “Finding Dory.” All of the sorority participants will be in costume, and three members will emcee the event, which will also feature a skit at the beginning of the concert, Mueller said.
“PKE wanted to up our community engagement by getting involved in a project that we could continue to be a part of year after year, building and strengthening the relationships each year we are involved,” she said.
The sorority is also creating goodie bags for students. A number of local business sponsors helped make the children’s concert possible.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Editor’s Note: This is the third and final in a series of interviews of the mayoral candidates for the Town of Monteagle.
Monteagle mayoral candidate David Sampley has lived in Monteagle his entire life. From a large family of eight siblings, responding to people’s needs is second nature to Sampley. He took EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) classes at Grundy County High School, and working for the ambulance service soon led to a career in nursing. After earning a degree at McMinnville Vocational Technical College, he took a job at the Monteagle nursing home managed by Health Care Capital and rose to the position of supervisor. His 12-and-a half-year career there ended abruptly in 1996, when he blew the whistle on patient abuse and was fired.
He testified several times in the subsequent lawsuit that resulted in new owners taking over the facility. “Why are you doing this?” his sister asked, after seeing lawyers attempt to discredit him on the witness stand. “I feel like I don’t have a choice. It’s something I have to do.”
Commitment and responsiveness to people’s needs is the driving force behind Sampley’s campaign for mayor. If elected, he would designate a staff member to take calls from residents with concerns and work directly with the staffer to find a solution. “People who’ve lived here all their lives feel pushed aside,” Sampley said. “‘I complained and nothing was ever done’—you hear that a lot.”
From the time Sampley’s father served as mayor during Sampley’s high-school years and continuing through Sampley’s service as a Monteagle alderman in the early 1980s, Sampley watched the town struggle with bad credit and economic woes. During that era there was talk of “turning Monteagle into a little Gatlinburg,” a strategy Sampley opposes. “I love the small town feel of the community,” he said. He pointed out that homes have become expensive in Monteagle, and people raised here can’t afford to live here. He’s seen many restaurants fail and cites a need for “stable businesses” like Tag Plastics in Tracy City. “I’d like to see the planning commission and council draft a plan to draw businesses and advertise for businesses to locate here,” Sampley said.
Sampley worries about bored young people spending all their time pecking on phones and video games and their subsequent lack of social skills. As mayor, he’d establish a committee of parents to “come up with ideas for giving kids things to do in the town.”
Addressing his concerns about senior citizens and shut-ins, Sampley wants to reinstitute a program previously in place in the community in which registered seniors phoned the police dispatcher once a day. If a senior didn’t phone in, an officer would visit the home to make sure all was well.
Sampley is currently the director at the Tracy Clinic, a position he’s held since 1996. He’s also served as a volunteer police officer and dispatcher for Monteagle and volunteer deputy for the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department. People he knows in the community approached him and asked him to run for mayor. “The mayor and alderman are employees of the people,” Sampley stresses, “and the people should be involved in every decision. But to get people involved, you need to make them feel part of the community. If people feel wanted and welcome, they’ll step forward to help.”
by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer
In addition to being a keeper of Sewanee history, the University of the South Archives and Special Collections is a treasure trove of art.
“You would never think the dissection of a frog would be artistic, but they are absolutely stunning. We’re going to try and build an exhibit around these materials, which are mostly chemistry and biology.”
That’s DebbieLee Landi, director of Archives and Special Collections, talking about hand-painted plaster casts of dissected amphibians that will likely be a part of an exhibit next year related to teaching science at the University.
Art is subjective and there are thousands of items in the Archives that can invoke artistic interpretations, including traditional pieces such as 19th century photographs of Sewanee’s founders or Rembrandt and Goya paintings. Sewanee archivists are also stewards of antique furniture and books, sculptures, silver, medieval manuscripts, prints—and a Spanish fire helmet with a horse’s tail attached.
“I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s a very impressive piece,” said Matt Reynolds, assistant director.
The artwork ranges from the 16th century to present day, a number of the pieces relating to Sewanee or by Sewanee artists, while others are just historical. Many of the Special Collections’ art pieces can be seen in buildings on campus as part of the Archives’ loan program.
“Sewanee has a really impressive art collection, so in order to share that with other people that’s one thing that we’ve done,” Landi said. “There’s probably very few buildings that you could walk into on the campus and find one that does not have art from the Archives.”
The Permanent Collection of Fine & Decorative Arts boasts more than 1,700 items and the Archives also has gallery space for special exhibits. The current exhibit in the gallery is “Communal Spirit: 3,000 Years of Mexican Artistry.” According to the Archives, the exhibit features Mexican folk art and artifacts from 800 B.C. to the 1990s and the display is open to the public through Dec. 16. Laura and Daniel Boeckman (C’82) loaned the items for the exhibit.
Reynolds drove the Communal Spirit items from Dallas, Texas. Working with many priceless, valuable and important works can be challenging.
“I get nervous working with the art,” he said. “Transporting the exhibit was an exercise in controlled terror, because I was driving a very large van and I normally have a tiny car that I drive.”
The archivists stress that they are not gate keepers of the University’s more than 150 years of history and extended art collection, but the Archives is there to benefit the students and public.
“That’s another thing I think people misunderstand a little bit about University Archives and Special Collections,” Reynolds said. “Yes, we collect, yes we preserve and organize, but we don’t just do it for the sake of doing it. Ultimately the work we do should support researchers, both on and off campus, and support the curriculum. We collect it to be used, not just sit on a shelf.”
Joining Reynolds and Landi in preserving Sewanee’s history and art collection are visual resources curator Mary O’Neil, who has been an Archives employee for 27 years, Betsy Grant, head of special collections and manuscripts cataloging, and a variety of Sewanee students.
The vast majority of items in the Archives come from generous donors. For more information or to view art online, visit <library.sewanee.edu/archives>.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
The long discussed vision of a retirement community in Sewanee is staged to become a reality, Kathleen (Kat) O’Donohue told Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) members and guests at the Oct. 12 meeting. O’Donohue, a founding member of the recently incorporated senior-living project Arcadia, summarized past stumbling blocks and the new energy driving future goals. The SCA also heard an update on information important to users of Sewanee Classifieds, the community-wide email messaging service sponsored by the SCA.
O’Donohue, director of Folks at Home, became involved in the senior living project years ago when invited to a meeting by Jerry Forster, University CFO at that time. The effort stalled when a developer concluded the market was too small to make the project feasible. The vision took on new life with the formation of Sewanee Elder Care and the appointment of John McCardell as vice-chancellor in 2010. McCardell supported the effort and assigned Frank Gladu, University Vice President of Administrative Services, to act as University liaison.
As the landowner of any proposed facility and a strategic partner in the project, the University funded analyses of demographics and related factors and found 15 percent of respondents surveyed said they were likely to move to a Sewanee assisted living facility, with 10 percent replying they would do so within the next three years. The research recommended moving forward with plans for an assisted living facility with no more than 25 beds and exploring the possibility of providing independent living facilities offering a continuum of services based on residents needs.
Three sites are strong contenders, O’Donohue said—the area of Castleberry Drive within walking distance of downtown, the Alabama Ave.-Kennerly Rd. vicinity, and a tract of land bordering Georgia Ave., Finney Lane and the hospital property. Fittingly, the name Arcadia comes from an idyllic description of Sewanee by author William Alexander Percy.
O’Donohue stressed that on McCardell’s insistence residence in the facility would be monthly rent based, rather than a buy-in model with astronomical upfront costs.
The Sewanee Community Chest has pledged $1,000 in support of the project to help pay for nonprofit registration, consultation and website expenses.
New director of Sewanee Classifieds Doug Meyers said his efforts have primarily been directed toward cleaning up the website, identifying overdue accounts and sending reminders to users in arrears. Classifieds currently has 655 paid subscribers. Meyers attributed the decrease in subscribers, originally more than 1,200 emails, in part to removing duplicate, invalid and long arrears accounts from the roles during a database cleanup performed during the summer.
Classifieds recently introduced forgery detection to combat spam. When asked to return a verification code, a user should simply press “reply” and send the email containing the verification code back to the sender. “Do not copy the code and send it to all of Classifieds in a new email,” Meyers stressed. “When you reply to the verification email, your original email will be sent to the Sewanee Classifieds group.”
He said when subscribers use the service from a different device, a phone rather than their home computer for example, they are asked again to return a verification code. This safeguard prevents hackers from sending spam messages. To subscribe to Sewanee Classifieds visit
The Land Trust for Tennessee has announced the protection of Tunnel Hill, which is 411 acres just west of Sewanee in Franklin County.
This forested property was the last remaining, unprotected, private tract separating Hawkins Cove State Natural Area and Bear Hollow Wildlife Management Area. With a bridge loan from Open Space Institute (OSI), The Land Trust purchased the property from long-time Sewanee resident Peter Keeble earlier this year. The property was then transferred to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) on Aug. 31 to be managed as part of the 15,000-acre Bear Hollow Wildlife Management Area.
The property is critical for connectivity and is home to numerous rare species of plants, including a large population of the Cumberland rosinweed (Silphium brachiatum), a state-endangered species found in only a few counties in Tennessee and Alabama.
The northern property boundary is a former railroad right-of-way that is in the process of being transformed into part of the Mountain Goat Trail. The Land Trust is pleased to partner with others on this Rails-to-Trails project creating a multi-use recreational trail connecting several communities in Grundy and Franklin counties.
The property also contains Cowan Tunnel, an active railroad tunnel that is still used by CSX today. The property adjoins Hawkins Cove State Natural Area, a 249-acre property managed as part of the South Cumberland Recreation Area and a 200-acre conservation easement held by the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation.
In addition to state and federal funding through TWRA, the project was supported by grants from OSI because of the tract’s importance in facilitating wildlife adaptation to climate change. OSI assembled the funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Lyndhurst Foundation, Benwood Foundation and Merck Family Fund.