DISTRIBUTION AND PUBLICATION
Prescott N. Dunbar
January 24, 2006
Mr. Robert Pearigen
A MANIFESTO OF JUSTICE FOR LOUISE CLAIBORNE-ARMSTRONG
In spite of the hurt,
greetings to you on this day of the Opening Convocation of Easter Semester
in this month of the 148th anniversary of the Chartering of the University
of the South by the State of Tennessee. Sadly, it was at the Opening Convocation
of Easter Semester in 1997 when the Louise Claiborne-Armstrong gift to
the University of the South first went missing from its designated and
long standing role in the pageantry at the beginning each calendar year.
Nine tenths of a decade is a long time for a crisis such as ours to remain
unresolved, especially when the error was unwarranted and only brings
suspicion and scorn upon the University of the South.
In a story that began
on the front page of the first section of the New York Times,
we see that The University of the South's famed processional Mace appeared
in the middle of page A28 on November 30, 2005, and also in very bright,
crisp color on the Internet, where it is sure to remain visible for a
very long time, indeed. A close inspection of the photograph confirms
that the Mace STILL REMAINS in three pieces! The orb is disconnected and
the shaft is askew. Remarkably though, the glowing Confederate flag of
the Army of Tennessee remains in the same pristine condition as was displayed
in the University of the South's historic 1984 book by William Strode:
As an aside, I am fondly reminded today of our Andrew Nelson Lytle, alumnus of the Sewanee Military Academy, as I see his name and A Christian University and the Word from that same 1984 book here referenced in a front page article about The University of the South in the January 2006 Civil War Courier. Anyone familiar with the highly creative Southern literary tradition there in Sewanee and its roots in the Vanderbilt Agrarians can not help but see a vivid analogy develop before their astonished eyes.
Lytle and the Agrarians wrote in their I'll Take My Stand manifesto that the graceful Southern tradition was losing to the invasion of "progress" and Southerners’ chasing the lifestyle of abstraction offered by Northern materialism. It seems the Mace saga now proves to us all that the historic Southern appreciation and grace there in Sewanee has been lost to similar notions of progress, but this time the culprits are the abstraction of a "respectable" ranking in a national magazine, new communications and brand marketing, and preferential multicultural diversity. The victim is the same, only the enemy has changed its name, but not its intent. Perhaps Lytle was really a prophet, for who knew in 1930 that his militare essay would so perfectly explain our own distasteful predicament today (he knew, for this truth is universal and enduring): "We have been slobbered upon by those who have chewed the mad root's poison, a poison which penetrates to the spirit and rots the soul."
From there in Sewanee this past summer was returned the money sent in by the Repair the Mace donors with no mention in the letter of the Mace's remaining still "broken," only that the funds were not needed. By inference, the repairs were assumed by us to have been completed with monies already there in Sewanee, and thus our checks were just too late in arriving to be of any help. As a fellow alumnus, you can imagine our shock when we turned to page A28 while reading the New York Times article. Have you seen it yet?
We are hearing of an arrogant dismissive there in Sewanee, and among some of the alumni leadership, of our concerns for historic preservation on the Mountain. Our being labeled as "having an agenda of something other than academics" is somehow a discredit to our efforts to repair the Mace? I await a loud calling out from those who think despairingly of our non academic "agenda" when they demand the cancellation of next year's football schedule. Otherwise, I am left to the conviction that those unappreciative our "agenda" to help the University of the South get past an embarrassing “accidental” episode are simply annoyed that our project publicizes stewardship deficiencies on the Mountain which they would rather blithely ignore. Their whining of "an agenda other than academics" is a charade. If they think that the University of the South is an improved institution of higher academics because it obstinately harbors the brokenness of a relic which was received with a sacred Episcopal ceremonial blessing and with great affection in 1965, then I relish the day when their own agendas are openly known to all alumni and my fellow donors...
General consensus among us here and among our student friends up on the Mountain is that the Mace never really "broke," but in truth had been befallen upon by an invisible legerdemain force- something other than gravity.
Why were we informed in 1997 by an authority there in Sewanee that it was "broken," and why was the reporter from the Atlanta Journal Constitution told eight years later by University officials that it was likewise "broken?" The students reported that it "dropped and broke" in an article found in their Sewanee Legacy newspaper in 1997 (now available on the sewanee.edu website, where the article should remain). Did anyone demand a retraction or correction from those student reporters and editor at the time? I should think not, for their findings have been echoed twice by those there in Sewanee who have spoken openly for the record in print about the disastrous fate of the Mace.
Perhaps you alone within the administration can uniquely empathize with justified concerns over how many presidents of the Order of Gownsmen, from Opening Convocation of Easter Semester 1997 until the present, have been deprived their honored participation in a 32 year long tradition that began at the Board of Trustees meeting back in 1965. I have seen many pictures in Cap and Gown yearbooks of numerous presidents of the Order of Gownsmen carrying the Mace, and their faces convey nothing but pride and joy. Did you see Order of Gownsmen President Erle J. Newton III’s facial expression in the photograph of him in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as he held the embarrassingly insufficient “substitute” mace? The contrast between his predecessors’ glad happiness and his own suffering humiliation perfectly portrays the disparity between my misled, but contented, former impressions compared to how I feel now about what I now know of the inner workings there in Sewanee and the accepted attitudes operating behind name change
Ironically though, through his pained near grimace one can detect a hint of humorous satisfaction in his eye. He must have been thinking as the newspaper photographer was at work that a picture of the little mace in the Atlanta Journal Constitution will eventually out the Truth about the big one. It very nearly has, but we still need more of an explanation from the Sewanee Obstinistas.
We often hear lamentations of a saddening loss of the ethos binding student traditions there in Sewanee. Lack of proper supervisory encouragement by uninitiated and uncaring faculty coming from far away and unsympathetic backgrounds is usually blamed. Those faculty have the opportunity to put an end to the inane notion that academically superior students should not wear the Gown because doing so appears to others as a “showing off” gesture and hurts the feelings of students who have not yet earned their own Gown. Only a Marxian love colony would allow that kind of nonsense be spoken by the high set of students who attend the University and receive their Gowns within the holy walls of All Saints’ Chapel. The loss of the Mace is the loss of the Gown. And it can not be said any more clearly that the unapproved administrative cancellation of the once respected tradition of the O.G. Mace bearer has become a tragic allegory upon which the malaise of all concerned alumni continues its impelled convergence.
Where else but in Sewanee, Tennessee, would student leaders of an honorary academic society organized in 1873 by an Episcopal priest/Confederate veteran revel in carrying the official sovereign sceptre that proudly displays the Confederate battle flag, and then regret not carrying it when they are denied that opportunity, especially when no sufficient explanation is given? Those fumbled disassembling excuses which are relayed to us from the Mountain, or we read in the New York Times, make no plausible sense. Maybe only up there at “the Episcopal University” can they pass for what is sensible these days.
No doubt the most distressing thing I have heard during this episode in the history of the University of the South is that a high ranking official there in Sewanee has let out a declaration that the Mace had “outlived its usefulness.”
Who are these people who have been there for ten minutes and think they can pass final and binding judgment on an artifact which was consecrated on the High Altar of All Saints’ Chapel by the Chancellor and President of the Board of Trustees, and then used as intended by the donor with decorous ceremony for 32 years before “accidentally breaking?” Does being in an “accidentally broken” condition mean that gifts to the University automatically “outlive their usefulness?” Pray tell then, what is the inevitable fate of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s General Kirby-Smith monument in Sewanee, Tennessee, if it is ever “accidentally” vandalized? Will that be the excuse officials up there use to retire it from the landscape, i.e. because it has “outlived its usefulness?”
It is difficult to express to the current administration what a regretful decision that would be and all the ways they would come to know it, but I am confident that I may be getting close to explaining the continued regrets the University will have for not repairing the Mace immediately in 1997 and putting it back into use as Louise Claiborne-Armstrong required as a permanent condition of her gift.
And what of the Rebel’s Rest marker if so ill a wind blows again across the Domain with such wicked ferocity that the marker tumbles to the ground? Will it then have “outlived its usefulness?” And likewise for the “negative image” windows in All Saints’ Chapel? What protections assure their sanctity? Why should they be safer than the Mace?
Did this said administrator contact the heir of Louise Claiborne-Armstrong who still lives in Apopka, Florida, and ask his permission for declaring her gift as having “outlived its usefulness?” Perhaps that heir will let us know if she intended the Mace to be used only until 1997, or beyond that grim year. If he knows that the University gave her no indication in 1965 that we would stop using the Mace in 1997 and only gave her indications that forever would the Mace be used as she intended, then we have a grave problem on our hands, yes.
“Outlived its usefulness” is an implicit recognition that the Mace was at one time useful. What could that use have been? Perhaps it was useful in honoring the deed of gift and its restrictions, and to honor the assurances made by the University to Louise Claiborne-Armstrong that her gift would be maintained and protected, and to honor a hero of Southern warfare during the Centennial of the War Between the States, and to honor the contribution to the University’s history that Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troopers made when patrolling the Cumberland Plateau area during the summer of 1863?
Thankfully, we all know that it was NOT useful as an obdurately regressive gesture during the Civil Rights movement, for the University of the South would not have participated in such a statement, would it? Of course not. Declarations now that it has “outlived its usefulness” are suggestive that the Mace somehow was a symbol in 1965 of racial hegemony, and that by its “accidentally breaking” in 1997 such symbolism is now defunct.
The Mace was veraciously used from 1965 until its inexplicable demise. Who at the University did not know all along during those 32 years that its prominently displayed Seal of the Confederacy, the Army of Tennessee Confederate battle flag, and the memorialized name of General Nathan Bedford Forrest could be interpreted by some as expressions of segregationist attitudes? Yet, the University of the South continued on with the tradition for more than three decades in spite of this knowledge. Any thinking person who understands life there in diverse Sewanee and the University’s preferential budget allocations and staffing allotments, knows that the Mace is unsullied by those obnoxious attitudes. At the University of the South, perhaps more than at anywhere else in our region, Confederate symbolism does not in any way represent segregation. The many Confederate reminders found on campus there in Sewanee are cleansed of any sinister intent or message, and once exhibited on the Mountain, they remain sanitized of any unpleasant taint. Thank God there is the University of the South for the South!
Has the burden of remembering its place in Southern history become too much to bear, and unbearable are its Southern heroes that keep it there? If anything, the usefulness of the South for Southerners is reviving, not the opposite as has been officially declared by administrative workers there in Sewanee who hire consultants to speak for a tiny segment of opinion. Southerners have learned, and Sewanee beginning in 2004 made itself Exhibit A in this lesson, that those who snidely claim that our Mace has “outlived its usefulness” are not of us or for us, verily, they are very much against us. They do not prompt us with offerings that we should join them in some better garden of their tillage where the shade is cooler and the fruit sweeter, but that just because they say so, we should burn and salt our own garden and so suit their lower pleasure and prejudice.
Offering ourselves to negotiations with those sorts just makes us their next victim. They make demands of us and offer nothing in return. What kind of a people does that? Tyrannicals, that is who, perhaps a most modern example being the present Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans.
The South’s regional character is incomprehensible to these alien people who declare our Mace as having “outlived its usefulness.” Sewanee’s allure is its provincialism; the students express it through the standing traditions, and the Domain advertises it through Confederate memorials. The right kind of students and faculty who belong on the Domain are pulled there by an invisible force buried deep within the Mountain. Those who do not understand Sewanee have been too welcomed for too long. They should find education and employment elsewhere in places that suit them and are welcoming of their kind of thinking. We have grown weary of their coming to Sewanee with notions of improving it. Before their arrival, Sewanee was just fine, the Mace was just fine, and everybody who loves both knows that it is was just fine for Sewanee to have its natural personality on display.
Stark Young in I’ll Take My Stand said it best, and those who revile Sewanee had better heed that we take his words very seriously: “But provincialism proper is a fine trait. It is akin to a man’s interest in his own center, which is the most deeply rooted consideration that he has, the source of his direction, health and soul.”
If anything, the usefulness of the Mace has not ended as may be wished for and so claimed by some, but in truth its usefulness is living on as the awakened consciousness of the very soul of Sewanee gains strength and direction.
flags, monuments, generals and names have been embroiled in disruptive
controversies across the South ever since that NAACP resolution of 1991.
The rhetoric in these debates often blames the Confederate memorials for
emotional distress because it reminds viewers of slavery, oppression and
discrimination. If you pay attention, you will regularly hear during these
wildly emotional exclamations that the Confederate battle flag represents
to blacks the same thing that the Nazi swastika represents to Jews.
Seeing that flag in person, or even in pictures, reminds some people of slavery. When it is not seen, does the bliss of forgetting the institution of slavery and Sewanee’s connection to it just vanish from everyone’s mind? Can all of history and memory be swept into oblivion? Would an educated and thinking people advocate that it should?
We must all join together in an understanding of unity that while the inanimate flag itself is not slavery, it inaccurately makes an emotional representation of slavery in some minds. Even so, slavery is illegal, segregation is illegal, and discrimination is illegal. The Confederate flags and monuments there in Sewanee do not reveal tell tale signs of a brewing a plot to bring back into legality that institution and those practices.
The gentleman of our Southern antiquity who founded the University of the South all became citizens of the American Confederate States, and while fighting for an honorable independence, the grandest of them was visited by a battlefield death. The Episcopal Confederate veterans who survived the War then renewed his University project. The institution can not ever allow itself to be shamed into feeling embarrassment because of those men, as well as for the many lovely ex Confederate ladies who graced Sewanee with their goodness and society. If the University of the South ever bows in contrition because of its history, then the employees there will have sacrificed the sacred blessing of might and fight and suffering and resurging. This must never be done for the benefit of a foreign and hostile ideology, and if the tragedy ever transpires, then lifted and taken away from the Mountain will be the mantle with which the Lord on His Throne so lovingly has protected the University of the South. Woe be unto the revilers.
The Confederate flag is not slavery, oppression and hate; it is simple strands of cotton woven into cloth and stitched, or rich enamel painted on the Mace. Those who agitate against it are aggravated by what they think the Confederate flag represents within the minds of those who display it. The hate they perceive is presumed to be in the minds of others and not actually inside of the inert flag. Prejudging as a single purpose the reason that all Confederate flags are displayed is a pre judgment base upon the differences between the races of judge and the convicted, and that is always an agitation based upon the truest definition of racism.
If anyone projects onto the University of the South that it maintains the Confederate flag on its Mace, the Confederate Seal in its Chapel, Confederate flags and generals in its library, and a Confederate monument on its lawn because institutionally it longs for a return of the days of the Old South, then Sewanee becomes just another victim of a prejudging racist construct. To that outburst of rude behavior needs be delivered with righteous vigor the strongest possible public scorn that the remaining self respecters within the administration can muster.
The entire time General Edmund Kirby-Smith fought for the Confederacy, slavery was constitutionally legal in several states which remained within the Union. It even remained legal for several months after he surrendered in 1865. His beautiful monument there in Sewanee no more promotes the revival of slavery than does the American eagle on our monetary currency screech for the same.
Under the American flag was slavery legal from the time that flag was adopted until slavery was outlawed in December of 1865 by the Thirteenth Amendment. Under that American flag did avowed white supremacist Abraham Lincoln claim the authority to free slaves in a separate country, but in his Emancipation Proclamation he did not free those in his own country. Citizens and scholars who most understand the truths of American history are not fooled by propagandized worship of Abraham Lincoln. It has best been said that after President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation, a slave chained in Baltimore, Maryland, would have had to escape to Richmond, Virginia, to be presumed free.
If anyone ever demands that the General Kirby-Smith, C.S.A., monument on the Domain of The University of the South come down, and does so without simultaneously demanding that American flag on University Avenue in front of Thompson Union come down at the same time, and also demand that the Lincoln monument in Washington D.C., be leveled, then all of Sewanee should shout them away for using vile hypocrisy and hateful prejudice against that which we hold dear.
The Sewanee Purple
reported during Easter Semester of 2004 that a committee discussed the
Order of Gownsmen resolution for the returning of the Southern state flags
to All Saints’ Chapel where they have always belonged. The story
related that students can be offended by the Confederate portions of some
of the flags, which must have most specifically meant that of the State
such cries of pain over the Confederate flag there in Sewanee would be
easier if the complainers were simultaneously demanding that the University’s
extant Confederate battle flag on display in Jessie Ball duPont Library
be removed. We have heard nothing of a movement among faculty and students
for making this demand, nor of and insistence that the Seal of the Confederacy
and recently installed Confederate battle flag be removed from the stained
glass windows in the Chapel. Why the wounded wailing over the State of
Mississippi’s flag and not all other Confederalia offenses so ubiquitously
prevalent on the Domain of the University of the South?
One is left to the conclusion that there is no real offense. The worries of such things are just phantoms in the imaginations of impressionable young newly manufactured leftists who are trying to act out the way they think they should after being trained in the high luxurious art of “socially conscious sensitivity and compassion” by the progressive faculty there at the 21st century’s “Sewanee: The University of the South.” Could it really be true that tuition and fees expended by Southern parents in the attainment of a Universitas Meridiana degree for their dear children now total about $140,000, not including the inflation, fraternity and sorority dues, and automobile, entertainment and shopping allowances?
If the cost is really that high, then those crass cynics may have a point when they claim that the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, appears as nothing more than an expensive country club with a built in learning camp included for the beautiful youth of the South who spend their evening leisure putting on a two semester long debutante presentation ball.
But they are wrong, because after we receive our education there and earn our diploma, we do not go on our return pilgrimage to a country club for praying in a chapel as holy as is All Saints’, or become as renewed to the authenticity of our regional culture by the thorough immersion in Southern history and Confederate legends that we still can breathe deeply within us from the air at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
So many, but not all, of the Confederate symbols, memorials, monuments and names survived the changes during the last decade of the prior century. Those that did were protected not only because they were so firmly attached to the physicality of the Domain by those wonderful souls who came before us, but because there in Sewanee everyone enjoys having their intellects stimulated and expanded. The enduring Confederate nostalgia there in Sewanee is available for the broad whole of Sewanee’s diverse constituencies. All can learn there a grandly fascinating subject as they walk around within the Southern history museum and exhibit that is the Domain of the University of the South.
Sauntering around the campus buildings evokes memories of the men who founded the University of the South and inspires appreciation for how they did things for their own way and in their own way, and not for the appeasement of other cultures or approval of other peoples. The independent individualism they exemplified lives on in the hearts and minds and spirits of the truest Sewanee students and alumni. And for these, the continued desecration of the Mace there in Sewanee is intolerable. “National respect” has been too expensive indeed, and the time has come for Louise Claiborne-Armstrong to stop paying the price for that.
During the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States from 2011 until 2015, the Domain of the University of the South will become a favorite destination for heritage tourist who will travel in search of the places that made Tennessee such contested ground during the War and hallowed after it. They will traverse the state and follow the routes of the numerous armies, both Confederate and Federal, that marched across the land. Of great interest to that five year long flow of tourists will be the legends of Tennessee’s General Nathan Bedford Forrest and the numerous memorials erected in his honor. They will come to Sewanee from over in Memphis, the town where they will have visited his grave and equestrian monument. If it is still there, that is. A city commission last year agitated aggressively to have the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue removed from sight because a certain constituency found it “offensive.” They will continue their huffing and puffing, and the precedents elsewhere prove that they will eventually blow the thing down, if not up.
When these tourists make it up to Sewanee, Tennessee, they will head straight into the Supply Store for a fresh copy of Andrew Lytle’s Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company. The myriad Lytle books sold there in Sewanee weave together Sewanee’s Southern literary tradition with Sewanee’s place in Southern history, and Lytle is the golden thread that binds the tightest.
From the Supply Store they will head to the University Archives for a viewing of the General Nathan Bedford Forrest Memorial Mace. It will be truly sad indeed if when they get there, they are timidly ushered to our “broken” memorial to the General, the repair of which had been funded by donors and rejected by employees. They will not understand how such a thing could be true at The University of the South.
But if they do try to make sense of the debasement of a relic donated in memory of one of the South's most famous, they will only have this illustrative explanation for the demise of a cultural and historical resource that will become so valuable during 2011-2015: The South’s prime University is being managed by the same kind of folks who run the City Commission of Memphis- panderers, all of them just alike.
What living portions of the University of the South’s respectable reputation that may still be around by then will suffer a pounding, bleeding fall from grace. The unmendable wound will be seen by the entire region as the final evidence that the University of the South was brought low by the self inflicted wielding of its own smashing hammer and slashing sickle as it progressed onward to take its bow before that fickle audience of “national respect.” The right kind of branding consultant could have warned them that bowing to that abstraction would one day demand more than a gesture. Eventually, nothing less would do than prone flat prostrate utter submission.
Who could deny that one of the primary benefits of receiving a college education there in Sewanee is the development of a literary, aesthetic, spiritual, social, and creative sensitivity to the complexity of our nation's history and the differing experiences that many peoples have had during our span? The University of the South’s own historical saga is a lens though which one can peer into the unfolding tapestry of the histories of the State of Tennessee, the entire deep South region, the whole of the Southern section, the current Union, the prior Disunion, and even the first Union. Across the visible chronology of that historioscopic viewscape can be seen why it is necessarily appropriate to acknowledge those true feelings against Confederate flags, names, and generals as intense, motivating, and often profitable.
Wondrous benefits tumble out of the Sewanee Santa’s goodie bag upon those types who answered Lipman-Hearne’s “research questions” about “the South” and claimed the rank offensiveness of it. Enriched are those who have their own free Bridge learning session, their own free recruitment weekends, their own free counselor in the Admissions Office, their own free administrator, their own free cultural center, and their own free trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Probably to most of them, the Confederacy is a painful reminder of slavery, oppression, and hate. (Even this assumption is racist, because of the implicit assumption of knowing accurately how people think because of how they look. Sewanee teaches this, so it must be the good kind of racism.) A group so inclined must be shocked indeed to innocently stumble across the Confederate battle flag on the wall in the library there in Sewanee. But done for them all is a favor by so much of Sewanee’s Confederate memorabilia openly and prominently visible, because unlocked are the powers of their minds to reason this teaser out for themselves: The Confederacy is offensive; here in Sewanee are many Confederate symbols; Sewanee is not a hateful place to me, but is in fact the most friendly and generous place that I’ve ever been; the University of the South would not display a symbol of hate; maybe I have been misled about the Confederacy!
The heritage landscape there in Sewanee is an agent of a portion of exactly that for which the University is there: The development of human intellect. Keeping the Mace broken is denying the fulfillment of that afore described process from those who could most benefit from it. Not only is the injustice done to Louise Claiborne-Armstrong, but to them as well.
We hear that there are employees on the payroll of the University who have complained about the Mace’s symbols, about our Repair the Mace project, about the very negative and damaging publicity the University has received about the Mace, and about the kind of President of the Order of Gownsmen who would want to revive the tradition that Louise Claiborne-Armstrong began with her gift by again carrying it in academic processions. Please have these employees contact me for a discussion of University history and the long standing role of community memory in the South.
If they are honestly offended by the Mace, and if they are not the hysterical sort and have retained a portion of their innate logic and reasoning skills in spite of working at “the Episcopal University,” then maybe they can convince even me and other culturally sensitive alumni that the time has finally come for The University of the South’s honorable retiring from use its United Daughters of the Confederacy’s General Kirby-Smith monument, its Seal of the Confederacy and Confederate battle flag in the windows of All Saints’ Chapel, its Bishop General of the Confederacy and Presiding Bishop of the Confederacy from Convocation Hall, its Confederate flags and generals in duPont Library, its Confederate monuments in University Cemetery, and the streets still named for states that joined the Confederate States of America.
In the January 15, 2006, Living Church, I was introduced to Richard Luker from the History News Network website. His full comment is particularly intriguing, if not predictive: “If you're at Vanderbilt, it's one thing to try to rename a building. If you're at Sewanee, you may have to rethink the whole foundation of the institution.”
Maybe he is right, and perhaps those who are living in the past have just not yet accepted the present and have not joined the rest as they march into the future. But for me, I am open to persuasion that the 21st century’s utopia there in Sewanee is more desirable than the 19th and 20th century versions. I look forward to hearing from anyone there in Sewanee who may be influenced by the kind of 21st century thinking that promotes such alien notions as this necessity for rebuilding the very foundation of the University of the South. Rethinking and rebuilding will unavoidably include repudiating through laying low in the minds of all Southerners who love the University our very founders of the institution whose unified Gospel ministry established the University of the South and the movement that chose Sewanee Mountain as the physical expression of the spiritual ideals which were the foundation of their University.
Please have those people contact me to begin the dialogue. Perhaps the ones who led the Diversity Retreat that was so praised by DEEP for raising students’ consciousnesses and changing their attitudes through discussions of “Privilege and Prejudice” would be the ones from whom I would like to hear. (See the attachment below. Were these leaders being paid by the University for leading the retreat, or were they volunteering their own weekend time?) They must be a very convincing bunch, and I offer my attitude to them for a’changing. The Diversity Retreat leaders can reach me a the postal address above to make their introductions.
It will be a pleasure to meet them in person or as an organized group during my next visit to Mountain while I am there with other concerned alumni at the community forum investigating the Mace's sad saga of honor to dishonor. They are even welcome to speak at the hearings and make their case on why perpetuating a grave injustice against Louise Claiborne-Armstrong is a good thing for the University. If they will bring a printed statement, we will consider including it in our press release following the event.
A glaring paradox announced itself to us in the form of the new communications and marketing initiative there in Sewanee. In an effort at becoming more acceptable to Northern and minority students by placating their bigotries against “the South,” they are now lured to the University of the South with the new name “Sewanee: The University of the South.” When they get up on the Mountain, they are then expected to tolerate the daily message of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s General Edmund Kirby-Smith monument, the Seal of the Confederacy, and the Confederate flags and generals, etc.? Who will be fooled by the hypocrisy?
If the University of the South allows itself made embarrassed by “the South” in its own name, then how will it not acquiesce in front of demands that it admit embarrassment by its most tangible expressions of the South’s defining era? If proper contrition for offensive misdeeds of regional self proclamation and cultural territorial marking includes cleansing the Domain of its glorification of the Confederacy, then will it not have to do that out of respect for the feelings of the others who claim the hurt? Those who think so have been watching employees there in Sewanee show a disdain for Louise Claiborne-Armstrong and a scorn for the General Nathan Bedford Memorial Mace she donated to the University of the South. Who thinks satisfaction stops there and that more of an apologetic catharsis will not be expected?
Readers of the truest Southern literature will recognize in the revolution of the new name just what Stark Young wrote regarding the new order here down South; the newness of that order and the newness of the name are both deplorable, and Young captures the crux of our knowing: “To have it good for us we shall have to see it in the light of our own tradition, our conceptions, our preferences, the flower of another way of life, more of which is left within us than, in the heat of a new impulse, we may think.”
Everyone has learned over the last couple of years that there remains a great deal of it still within us, and thank God for it, because without it, the University of the South would have been one brutal insult closer to its demise.
I think that perhaps not yet has the new phenomenon caught on there in Sewanee, but inevitably will by 2011, of black youth sporting Confederate symbols in their dorm rooms and on their clothing. This strangely ironic new trend has been explained to me as a natural reaction of the educated, free-thinking youth within any society or culture.
The Confederate battle flag is the accepted world wide symbol of resistance to oppression and tyranny. The adoption of it by black youth is eloquently logical. Some display it because they are rebels at heart and enjoy defying the NAACP that tells them how they are supposed to think just because they are black. Others adopt it a symbol of pride in their home region, along with that overt rebellious flare which ever springs from our Southern soil. Then again, some use it just to agitate their own community, and others for the agitation of whites whose own racial identities are so defined by it. What a marvelously diverse and versatile symbol for the free American people of that great Andrew Jacksonian tradition to use however, whenever, and wherever they so chose!
This past summer the Associated Press released a story about blacks who are ignoring the NAACP’s continued boycott of South Carolina. The boycott goes on and on, even in spite of the South Carolina legislature’s complying with NAACP demands that the Confederate battle flag be removed from atop the Capitol in Columbia.
Interviewed was Miss Marquita Jackson, who not only rebelled against the NAACP, but wore a Confederate rebel battle flag swimsuit just to make sure nobody could miss the point, and believe me, they did not. Regarding the NAACP, she told the news reporter: “I spend my money wherever I want to... They don't give it to me.”
What a splendidly defiant young American capitalist woman, and just the kind who would most enrich the diversity of the entire Sewanee community! She sallies forth in the finest tradition of that first Rebel, General George Washington. (All students there in Sewanee are daily given the opportunity for grateful reflection with gratitude on the father of our Constitutional Republic as they gaze reverently upward upon the Seal of the Confederacy in the Chapel windows and see him there in the center, just as they see the Greek Cross of Christ is in the center of the Seal of the University of the South. And just as that cross is surrounded by the links representing the owning Southern Episcopal dioceses of the University of the South, so is Mr. Washington surrounded by a classical wreath crafted of the agricultural staples of the Confederacy, and he remains there justifiably mounted with imperious dignity upon his fine equestrian steed bred in the purist pasture womb of Virginia.)
The Admissions Office should contact Miss Jackson immediately and offer whatever scholarship inducements are needed to have her enrolled in the next Summer Session or by Advent Semester 2006 at the latest!
And what a grand inspiration these young people like Miss Jackson have: The adoption of those insults your enemy fires at you as your badge of pride is as fine a Southern and Sewanee tradition as any. Our own Major George Rainsford Fairbanks, C.S.A., knew that the Confederates were Constitutional loyalists and not wagers of Rebellion against the government of these United States. Out of proud defiance, he nonetheless adopted the “Rebel” moniker as the name of his 1866 Rebel’s Rest cottage. The University now enjoys the log home as its guest house. May the Good Lord ever bless his memory, his home, and his grave monument in University Cemetery.
Some of the worst news we hear from the Mountain includes falsely promoted notions that Nathan Bedford Forrest was not a part of the University, and therefore the Mace does not need repairing. I have even read such idiocy in the public Internet blogs.
My own research has revealed at least sixteen siginificant direct and anciliary events through which he is indeed an important part of our University’s history, and employees there should be proud to be on the payroll of such a voraciously Southern institution that is indelibly bound to him:
Just who are these people who could contrive a notion that Nathan Bedford Forrest and his memorial Mace have nothing to do with the University or its history? When one considers that there are people and objects up there which are given official deference and promotion while possessing not a whit of native attachment to the University or its history, then for the students, Gownsmen, alumni and donors, the Mace now reasserts itself into the urgent devotion our consciousnesses, and its immediate repair is mandatory.
Just as was later
exemplified by the character of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the University
of the South was founded and made by men who did things their own way,
forming meaningful traditions by their own inspired methods. Nothing about
the project was ever intended for the appeasement of other cultures or
approval of other peoples. The independent individualism represented by
our founders and Confederates such as Nathan Bedford Forrest lives on
in the hearts and minds and spirits of the truest Sewanee students, alumni
and community members. And for us, as well as all decent people, the continued
desecration of the Mace there in Sewanee is intolerable.
If the unknowing had previously thought Nathan Bedford Forrest was not a part of the University’s history, they certainly can not deny that he is a part of it now, thanks to the attention he has received in the press stories about The University of the South’s rebirth as “Sewanee: The University of the South.”
Folks in far away places who had never previously heard of “Sewanee: The University of the South” will now all come to visit and be interested mostly in seeing this famous Mace about which they have been reading so much. Did Lipman-Hearne’s “research reveal” that instead of presenting the so called “negative image,” that the cultural and historical resources on the Domain which keep telling the woven together stories of the South and the University of the South would become stop number one for heritage tourists and for alert, curious prospective applicants? If not, then Lipman-Hearne asked the wrong research questions of the wrong sample population.
It would be a delight to see new results of their research if the same questions as before were asked again of the same respondents after they read the New York Times article and saw our Confederate memorial Mace in it. (“Deliverance,” gracious goodness!)
There is much relishing among us of this irony: The University encouraged Louise Claiborne-Armstrong to make her gift, and then used the gift for 32 years before clumsily and dishonorably trying to depart from the tradition. The result has been that the University’s public relations message is now told by uncontrolled press reports which put so much attention on the Mace and Nathan Bedford Forrest that now both are the national public image of the University of the South. How can it get any better than that? Thankfully, this bizarre phenomenon does give her but a tiny portion of the justice she is owed.
Nathan Bedford Forrest’s association with the Ku Klux Klan has been pointed out in the articles about “Sewanee: The University of the South.” That KKK social club of General Forrest’s time rode in response to the chaotic social and political threats against his people immediately following the War Between the States and was only in operation a short while. Purposely hidden from the current public conventional wisdom is the history of how the original club’s riders galloped through the night because of the fearfulness and lawlessness that the pervaded Southern society just after the War. It was a development that has been natural for all peoples in the history of mankind when faced with similar threats of collapsed safety and order. It was reaction to the aggression of the politico/military occupiers of the South, and not a purely racial inspiration or counterpoise.
A most recent example
of this expected human phenomenon occurred in New Orleans following the
havoc of Hurricane Katrina. Civil order broke down, our city police force
failed, and the National Guard was absent for too long when they were
most urgently needed. Our neighborhood citizens banded together here in
the Garden District during those dire circumstance and were left with
no option but the hiring of our own teams of elite, well armed, trained
and experienced mercenaries to protect our family homes from looting and
vandalism. When the tax dollar funded municipal and governmental safeguards
fail the citizenry, people will by instinct rely upon each other and their
combined independent means for protection and safety. What we had to do
here in New Orleans in 2005 in order to save our homes from criminal thieves
and hateful arsonists was no different than the survival measures taken
by Nathan Bedford Forrest and his band of Tennessee patriots after 1865.
Just as they did during the horrible postbellum turmoil following the
War Between the States, we here in Louisiana during the War of the Looters
found ourselves forced to find our own methods to “protect the weak,
the innocent, and the defenseless from the indignities, wrongs and outrages
of the lawless, the violent and the brutal…” Perhaps you saw
on the television news the total ruin we were facing at the time. Had
we relied on the authorities and public servants to solve our problems
and save our civilization, we would have been doomed by their failures,
ignorance, and complicity. (We paid our taxes in the expectation of service.
Do you think they will give us a tax credit for the vast expense we incurred
in hiring our on private military security force when they proved themselves
incapable? Dim are our hopes for that tax justice.) Our Nathan Bedford
Forrest is America’s best historical example of the inspiration
of self preservation and defense, urges which define the American struggle
as well as any, and that only saved the Garden District of New Orleans
from total destruction.
The Communications and Marketing officers there in Sewanee should immediately and aggressively disavow any association between the University Mace and its inscription in memory of General Nathan Bedford Forrest as having a connection with the popular impression of what was the Ku Klux Klan. Decency, if not justice, for Louise Claiborne-Armstrong makes this a required answer.
Neglecting this duty is an abandonment of the need to educate those who are automatically prejudiced against the meaning of “the South” in the title of the University of the South, as well as against the diminished, but still surviving “South” in the new “Sewanee: The University of the South.” The Nathan Bedford Forrest so linked with the history of Sewanee, Tennessee, is not dirtied by the sins of the 20th century KKK. If he had been, The University of the South would not have led its Vice-Chancellor’s into All Saints’ Chapel for 32 years with a ceremonial relic which memorializes a favorite General.
Leaving such injurious impressions remaining uncorrected is akin to tacitly approving the claims that the University of the South advocates a return to the antebellum Cotton culture of the Old South just because it has not changed its most visible vestige from antebellum thought and times, i.e. the legal title of the University of the South, along with the fact the student body’s composition is overwhelmingly near its historical levels of white Southerners taking up the vast majority of seats in the classrooms, or in many cases, all the seats. An additional vulnerability for trouble making is the juxtaposition of the word “South” with the antebellum year 1858 within the University Seal in the center of the Narthex and the resulting claims that it is a cleverly disguised message of the same cultural intent.
When the propagandists accuse as much one day, the University will need its historic preservationists to stand with it on the front line of defense. It would be well advised that before such a battle rages, the administration not continue alienating those who can most help during those times of crisis. Giving due justice to Louise Claiborne-Armstrong by repairing her gift will be the long over due first step in the recruitment of strong allies.
The communications message required is this: Nathan Bedford Forrest’s reputation is redeemed by the spiritual unification of Louise Claiborne-Armstrong, the University of the South, and the President of the Order of the Gownsmen. It is a wrong and mean spirited crime against the triune grandeur of their combined greatness to allow any more spreading of the ill intended notion that the Mace in any way represents white racism.
Through the administration’s delay in repairing the Mace, conveyed is the message that accepted with merit there in Sewanee is the baser interpretation of the Mace’s meaning. Allowing destructiveness and cultural violence to go uncorrected on the Mountain is sending a very potent message to friend and foe alike who take special interest in artistic expressions of regional identity.
The grave injustice perpetrated against Louis Claiborne-Armstrong reflects ominously dangerous tidings for the University of the South at the worst possible time. When the sesquicentennial is celebrated and publicized beginning in 2007, why would we want the brokenness of the Mace to lead every news stories about the University? Is anybody up there in Sewanee sober enough to see what peril lies in continuing the desecration of the Mace? When will recognition be given to the error of letting the Mace continue as the focus of the public’s attention on the University? The 150th anniversary parties on the Domain of the University of the South should be a time of merriment and not of mourning. The latter disappointment is all that we can expect if Louise Claiborne-Armstrong remains debased, degraded, and devalued by this ongoing injustice against her. Who doubts it?
By leaving the Mace “broken,” employees of the University are making themselves the target of the same accusations that were spewed in righteous anger at Chancellor Gordon Gee at Vanderbilt during his illegal attempt to steal the name “Confederate” off of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Confederate Memorial Hall on the Peabody Campus.
How much insistence will be required of the alumni that our alma mater must in all speed do justice for Louis Claiborne-Armstrong and avoid being associated any longer in the public’s mind with those who destroy what our forefathers and birth mothers built for us and left behind for our benefit alone? Sewanee has begun its tumble into the pit, and teetering on the edge, it now can reach back for the hand that is offered in aid, or it can ignore us and fall to the bottom of oblivion and there be buried under all the subsequent corpses which will crash down in the future. Louis Claiborne-Armstrong’s spirit cries out for justice, and by responding to her emergency, the Sewanee of remembered nobility, chivalry, and honor can save itself.
Reading some related portions of the reactions to the news stories about Lipman-Hearne, I am struck by one particularly noxious attitude: “The South lost the war, so get over it and move on!” Ah, yes, oh my, and how the opportunities that one gives for explaining to the Southern youth there in Sewanee how the enemy still operates against them.
The overt message therein is that since the richer, more industrial North, with its larger and better equipped army had defeated the agrarian South militarily, politically, and economically, that it also claims a victory over our spirit and intellect. We are told to no longer lament our loss and instead begin starting the rejoicing over our having been defeated? They would have more luck shouting at the wind to stop its blowing while thinking it will obey them than of ever convincing us of the merits of their demands for our obedience. We could maybe be sympathetic if our victor was of the decent sort, but a people who tells the vanquished to enjoy ruination proves themselves as nothing more than crass Visigoths of Greed.
Those people should be studied closely by our Southern youth. Revealed to those who most need to know will be that “moving on” demands the abandonment of their inherited blood sense, the sensate gifts of native soil, and the salvific sacrament of joining together in good company and free association with other members of their own set. Being in Sewanee, Tennessee, while living, breathing and studying within the penumbral glow of our Southern antiquity and upholding those traditions handed down, is the rarest of Southern virtues still remaining. On the Domain, the preservation of that manifestly Southern culture which loved the students before they were even born binds them to the founders and those undying promptings operative in choosing Sewanee Mountain as the location for the University of the South. Unification with those mystical currents still swirling there will bring them to themselves and gird them for the battle unending against the truculence of lesser sorts. The Southern youth know that there is nothing worthy offered by the outsiders to “move on” to, for our youth are now in mind, body and spirit where they are at their best. Many of these have shown us that they already know this truth and are willing to defend it.
The disgraceful treatment of Louise Claiborne-Armstrong’s gift has exposed some of the now more openly discussed ailments which have festered there in Sewanee. The University of the South was founded based with the urgent need and intention that Southern social unity could be strengthened by bringing the founding class together on the Mountain and offering organized community and classroom opportunities for the enjoying of the natural harmony of their oneness. It was not an institution planned as a social experiment for the celebration of differences or oddness; it was envisioned as a mountain top fortress within which would be protected and strengthened that which was familiar for the first families of the South and safe for their children.
Allowed or encouraged contradictions to those ideals are disruptively destructive to the best learning at the University of the South, and a “broken” Mace proves the error that has been committed through the entertainment of strange philosophies and self loathing practices.
Somewhere along the way, the meaning of strength was perverted on the Mountain, and Louise Claiborne-Armstrong became a victim of an overbearing insistence that otherness was goodness and sameness was badness. That intolerant power aimed its fury at the Mace, and the resulting injury is today our symbol of what happened at the end of that better epoch during which objections of the few were not used to punish the many.
But the lesson has been learned. We are hearing encouraging news that among the students there in Sewanee has started a new arising of regained consciousness which beckons to the earlier days when society on the Mountain knew that its strength lay in its proper order. They are enjoying and holding dear the remaining semblance of their traditional organizations that bind them to each other through a harmonious lifestyle which they understand by unspoken instinct as good for them; it is the oldest instinct on the Mountain. They are automatically brought together into their enclaves of kinship and affiliation, some visible and some of necessity invisible, through commonly held values fostered in their traditional family backgrounds, college preparatory educations, and memberships in the enduring social institutions back in their Southern hometowns. These are the students who know how to have respect for authority when it proves itself respectable, and the repaired Mace will instantly illicit from them much of what is needed once they can see for themselves the Mace restored as one rejoined piece as Louise Claiborne-Armstrong intended it to stay instead of its current three separate scandalous ones.
The University of the South has been blessed with the generous affection of some of the grandest ladies who have ever lived in the South. Either by them, or in their honor, or by their families’ recognition of the meaning of Sewanee to them, wonderful gifts have been bestowed upon the University. The Domain is graced by the names Manigault, Hodgson, Benedict, Guerry and duPont.
Thanks to the generosity of Charlotte Morris Manigault, we have St. Luke’s Hall and Manigault Park; she is honored in the Narthex windows. Thanks to Frances Glen Potter Hodgson, we have St. Luke’s Chapel; she is honored in the Narthex windows. Thanks to Olivia Procter Benedict we have Benedict Hall; she is honored in the Narthex windows. Thanks to Charlotte Patten Guerry we have Guerry Hall and the Charlotte Guerry Tennis Courts; she is honored in the Narthex windows. Thanks to Jessie Ball duPont, we are privileged to carry her name on Jessie Ball duPont Library; she is honored in the Narthex windows.
Thanks to Louise Claiborne-Armstrong, we have a beautiful ceremonial processional Mace, now world famous, that was used for 32 years. She is remembered by her gift’s having “accidentally broken,” disappeared for eight years, involuntarily “found,” placed in the Archives, and even after alumni sent in their donations to fund the repairs, still it remains “broken.”
If any of the structures, facilities, or markers there in Sewanee that have the names Manigault, Hodgson, Benedict, Guerry, or duPont attached to them were to “accidentally break,” they would be repaired immediately without comment or notice. If the historical windows in the Narthex were to “accidentally break,” and the images of the five our six grand dames were damaged, they would be repaired immediately with comment or notice.
Which gift from any of these women or their extended families would remain “broken?” None, of course. Why then, pray tell, does Louise Claiborne-Armstrong receive a lessened degree of respect? Why the discrimination against her? Why the intolerance, the injustice?
When will “the Episcopal University” treat all its benefactresses with the same respect? The time has come for the University to finally shake its reputation as an exclusive bastion of white male privilege. The time has come to prove that all women there in the Sewanee that claims itself a Mecca of “inclusiveness” will be treated with the deference and acceptance that their places of authority have earned them. The time has come for every woman to be treated with the full equality that we owe, and the time has come to give justice to Louise Claiborne-Armstrong.
There in Sewanee a student can major in Woman’s Studies, join a local chapter of the National Organization of Women, fight for a woman’s right not to birth babies, and look up to the successful example of two women in the powerful positions of Provost and Dean of the College. Last year’s Valedictorian was a woman and our last three Rhodes Scholars were women. Women students enjoy the advantages of being the majority gender of the student body. For a University that is now as feminized as has become the University of the South, utter outrage, shock and dismay descends upon the beholder when they recognize the tragedy of how the one lady who is fast becoming the name most associated with the University of the South, our own fabulous Louise Claiborne-Armstrong, has been for nine years shown nothing but contempt and scorn. We call all the women of the University to stand in defiance of the sexist treatment one of their own continues receiving at the overbearing hands of the old boy power structure still stubbornly holding on to its last rung of masculine might there in Sewanee. Join with us and demand justice for Louise Claiborne-Armstrong and see to it that all women donors to the University of the South are treated equally! Why should women now entrust those in Sewanee as the receiver of their donations when so shabbily and discriminatorily has been treated one of their finest sisters of the Domain?
It is too late to give Louise Claiborne-Armstrong her place in the Narthex windows, but the University can begin to offer a portion of what it owes her by finding a tasteful and appropriate method of recognizing her contribution with the same esteem that her sister donors are receiving. The first is, OBVIOUSLY, to repair the very Mace she so lovingly had crafted just for us! Once her gift is restored to its original condition and its value reclaimed through the recovery of its integrity, the second offering of respect will be its return to the President of the Order of Gownsmen for a revival of the processional tradition that began on June 3, 1965. Beyond that, a permanent display should be erected either in the lobby of Jessie Ball duPont Library or the University Archives which commemorates the Mace’s role in the history of the University of the South, a vivid role which is getting more pronounced every day her gift is kept “broken,” forsooth!
Rob, somehow, you and I and my fellow donors to the Repair the Mace project are all together being forced into enduring a discomfiting and inexplicable delay in seeing the Mace rightly repaired. Apparent is a mysterious executive complicity and acceptance of its degraded financial and cultural value. (Nonetheless, its teaching value multiplies daily, surely!) Therefore, a new appraisal of the relic by a skilled professional is expected. The Mace appraised at $41,500 twenty one years ago, and we should know what it is worth now- both in its currently impaired condition, and also at what would be the value of a hypothetical, but inevitable, repaired condition. When those two numbers are compared, we will no doubt learn that the University’s failure at its role as a good steward of the Mace is costing more than just a loss of reputation and alumni donor confidence.
Required for the appraisal is someone who was intimate with the Mace before it "broke." The original appraiser, Mrs. Taylor M. Watson, C.G.A., is the appropriate choice. The expense of her services will be covered through newly designated and restricted gifts to the University of the South. Officials can schedule the inspection by calling her Chattanooga, Tennessee, office at phone number (423) 267-0901.
It is a bitter thought that dear Louise Claiborne-Armstrong, in all of her sweet generosity to her brother’s alma mater, with Glory to God above, and in memory of her father’s fearless captain of War, that she would not today have the assurance that her gift to the University of the South has been treated with the deference its grandness so deserves, and as correct justice demands.
We are well taught by the excellent and effective Social Justice Ministries of the Episcopal Church that Reconciliation first requires Recognition, followed by Repentance, and completed by Restitution.
The administration there in Sewanee, and some members of the faculty as well, must soon recognize the error of not repairing the Mace immediately upon its “accidentally breaking” in 1997, and most recently of not repairing it in 2005 after alumni and friends sent in our donations for the Repair the Mace project. If the ideological error can not be seen, then perhaps will be recognized the public relations and financial error.
A proper repentance would include an apology to those alumni who have been injured by what they and their associates have been reading in the press for the last nearly two years about what has been going on there in Sewanee. An apology must also be extended to Louise Claiborne-Armstrong’s heir.
The only restitution acceptable will be the performance of that most just act of radical hospitality to the memory of Louise Claiborne-Armstrong and the good name of The University of the South by those there in Sewanee: Repair the Mace, now.
What a shame that helping those there in Sewanee to see the need to do the right thing is now “radical.” In the better days of harmony, it would have been unnecessary. Only once restitution is complete will we become reconciled that Sewanee may once again, as in those better days, be a worthy caretaker of donated memorials, artifacts, relics, and endowment cash flows.
But then again, who could have ever imagined that something as antiquated and anachronistic as the out of date soul of the University of the South would have been allowed to live on in a world such as this? With all the attention that has been directed toward Sewanee ever since the new name was revealed, it is obvious that there really are people out there who abhor our very existence. Attached to the end of this Manifesto, you will find a copy of a document I have just come across which chronologically records the news stories about the name change. Several of the quotations are searing in their anger at the University of the South for being so Southern. Holy Goodness, it sounds like Lipman-Hearne was not kidding!
We remain astonished, as must the public relations office and the consultant, that two tiny little dots of ink so carefully drawn [ : ] could drain so many countless barrels of hot ink into the publishers’ printing presses, could use up so many terabytes of digital capacity on the Internet servers, and could fill so much bandwidth on the electric Web.
No, on second thought, none should be astonished at all by what happened after a stranger was paid University money for converting the chartered and perpetual name of the University of the South into a subtitle behind a punctuating colon. The rivers of ink and teraflops of electrons were not only expected, but were predictable by anyone who understands the mysterious essence of the Domain as well as its most keen practitioners do. Evidently, that special sensing of the Mountain has been missed by those who control too much policy and too much money up there in Sewanee. In the not too distant past, hiring a branding consultant to tell our story would have been anathematic. It still is to those who count.
Besides pushing along the furiously spinning wheels of intellectual commerce, we have all learned the Lipman-Hearne dots had powers far beyond their manifest intention. What a story we now have to tell about when the University of the South agreed with “research that revealed the weaker the connection between the University’s name and the South, the better.” We can tell of how what they ended up getting instead of their version of “better” was the Northern section’s getting a “better” understanding of just how much of the South is still there in Sewanee (“Deliverance?” He surely couldn’t have meant that the way beleaguered Episcopalians took it!) and even how much of that version is still Confederate, have mercy!
It is difficult to capture the full irony of this turn of events, but one delightful ramification has been that post April 7, 2004, the Lipman-Hearne version of the University of the South released what is a near justice for Louise Claiborne-Armstrong, our lovely. There is much still yet to be done for her, but the round dots got things rolling, so to speak. To Lipman-Hearne we owe great gratitude, and now, thanks to them and their enablers who work for the University of the South, Sewanee is indeed finally “better” than at anytime since the Mace was "lost" and disappeared in 1997.
Not only did the new dotted punctuation have the power of tipping barrels and burning wires, but it also brought fantasy into reality. Once finding themselves within the pressing, squeezing vise clamp of
Sewanee —› : ‹— The University of the South,
they accessed deep within their combined being the Source only discoverable in those times of extreme discomfort during unnatural calamity. They were caught in an ever tightening clutch, the left half (i.e. leftist) “Sewanee” and the right half (i.e. correct) “The University of the South.” The handle was frightfully cranked harder and harder for a full year, and stuck there for a seeming eternity, the struggling punctuation found its true nature; its best use; its fate; its fame.
No longer keeping its former shape as a tangible divisor within a misalignment of Geography and Charter, our dear punctuation’s spirit took flight from its prison bonds and released itself far out into the Ether where it could learn unfettered the difference between Evil and Good. Once there, it freely communed with the original pure Domainian spirits and basked in the sharp brightness of Immortalis Est Sententia, and there became Power.
Eagerly floating back down upon the Mountain, inspiration swelled their intent, and they were not the dots that first slipped the capture of the crushing pressure. Behold a new royal magic carpet, flying through the rarified air looking for good deeds to do, all the while knowing through the counsels of wise Immortalis that the first deed needed be the undoing of a prior dastardly doing. Onward the magic carpet flew straight into some “unknown” room, lovingly wrapped itself around the three pieces of the Louise Claiborne-Armstrong gift to The University of the South, liberated them from their shackled obscurity, and then flew them straight into the eight years long awaiting arms of the University Archivist. Finally, thanks to Lipman-Hearne, a 1997 promise was fulfilled and an “accidental” injustice half righted!
The day of liberation of our Mace from its “lost” confinement in the darkness of mystery was the beginning of a glorious Jubilee celebration on the Mountain, as Gownsmen and their Domainian supporters celebrated the near return of respectful decency to the campus.
When the Mace is repaired for good, not only will Louise Claiborne-Armstrong have received the larger portion of the justice owed her by those who make their living in Sewanee, Tennessee, but also will be redeemed the memory of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
The sanctification of Bedford began with Andrew Lytle’s biography of the General. If you have not yet read it, you can obtain one in the University Supply Store. Through Lytle’s presence on the Mountain, both while living and temporarily sleeping in the grave, through his biography of Forrest, through his editorship of the Sewanee Review, through his delivery of A Christian University and the Word, through his teaching scores of Sewanee gentlemen the better use of the English language, and through his being the avatar of The University of the South’s headship of the Southern literary tradition, Sewanee, Tennessee, can not escape the memory of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his place in the word and in the academic procession.
I have been invited to consider a proposal by the Development Office fundraising staff for my funding of an endowed Dunbar Scholars program. While I know that such a contribution now to the Sewanee Call capital campaign would help you mightily toward your financial goal, I have grave concerns about giving any more money to the University of the South. Scholarship money just frees up other money in the budget to spend on consultants who do great damage to my alma mater. I know, as you must have been informed once you accepted the promotion to your new position, that many alumni who otherwise would feel warmth for their memories of Sewanee are now chilled by the changes taking place there. Who would want to fund what Sewanee advisor Mary Maples Dunn has in mind?
Her plan could not
have been any more eloquently and honestly stated, nor more clearly exposed
in its sinister and revising intent, than when she said, “In
20 years you won’t know the place.” Not with my money
Until I am given some comfort that the Sewanee of legendary lore is being preserved instead of “progressed” through the excuse that “change is good, you know” (good for whom, exactly?), my Sewanee Call endowment gift consideration should be considered cancelled. When the Mace is appraised and repaired, my interest in becoming reacquainted with needs that the University has during its Sewanee Call may mysteriously revive. (Nonetheless, I wish you every personal success in your new position. From what I hear, Sewanee is very lucky to have you there right now.)
Thank you for your
attention to this grievous matter, and thank you in advance for finally
giving the memory of the late Louise Claiborne-Armstrong the deference
that her marvelous generosity to the University of the South adjures.
But we should all now be ever mindful: Sewanee’s loom runs on Spiritual energy, and stopping our business for repairing avoidable errors just annoys the Source.
Prescott N. Dunbar
We did not ask for, nor approve of the notion of the new name. It should be returned posthaste to Chicago whence it came for a refund!!! Those fresh funds can be applied to the Mace repair project, with the vast excess used in the erection of an honorary monument to the example set for us all by Louise Claiborne-Armstrong; the never ending usefulness of her magnificent gesture is forever upon the Domain and on the Internet.
That an expensive
consultant from a far away distant region who understands nothing of the
feeling at the University of the South would be paid for contriving its
new marketing image specifically for the emotional benefit of non native
teenagers is akin to marketers of the best Bible thumping mid Alabama
town inviting casino operators to build there, and at the grand opening,
beheld by everyone is the revelation that their marketers are all gambling
junkies. The real Christians will eventually chase out the false ones.
1. "In addition, a variety of campus [Sewanee] programs focus on 'privilege' and these discussions increase awareness and change attitudes. The College also started a new program, a weekend 'Diversity Retreat' where 25 students are immersed in a variety of diversity issues including racism, sexual orientation, gender, and class. The theme for the latest retreat was 'Privilege and Prejudice.' Many courses also incorporate diversity into the curriculum and this fosters meaningful dialogues around important, often controversial issues." -Documenting Effective Educational Practice (Project DEEP), from the 2003 National Survey of Student Engagement, Institute for Effective Educational Practice, Bloomington, Indiana
2. "...the cornerstone of racism: White Privilege. ...we were challenged to do a personal audit of our language and actions and a church audit of our institutional language and symbols, to see where white privilege continues to rear its ugly head." -Linda Dietrich, "National Church Presenters Challenge Diocesan Leaders To Combat Racism," The East Tennessee Episcopalian, The Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, Volume 20, No. 5, Oct./Nov. 2005 (newspaper of an owning diocese THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH, a/k/a, The Episcopal University)
"Two other videos led to discussion of power as an essential component
of racism, and the concept of 'white privilege' -the unearned power, economic,
political and social, that whites have as the dominant group in our society...
whites need to help other whites understand how unearned white privilege
hurts them... In the final exercise of the day, table groups were given
the task of describing how the 'perfect multicultural church' would go
about creating the widest possible welcome for all people. The first step,
many agreed, would be a deliberate intention by the leadership of the
congregation to be inclusive and an accompanying willingness to relinquish
power and control." - "Anti-Racism Dialogue Addresses Challenging
Issues of Race, Power and Privilege," The Net: Official Publication
of the Diocese of Southeast Florida, Volume 35, Number 6, December/January
2004-2005 (newspaper of an owning diocese THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH,
a/k/a, The Episcopal University)
(Total discovered as of January 15, 2006- 112; story run time- 642 days.)
"The time will
come when they realize that whistling ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’
1. Sewanee's Consultants Say Heritage is Negative: University of the South examining its traditions, front page investigative expose (“The plan also says marketing research ‘has revealed that the South can often raise negative associations before it sparks positive ones, so the weaker its connection with the University's name, the better.’ ”), Nashville Tennessean, April 7, 2004
2. Clarification Regarding Sewanee Naming Convention (“…worked to create an integrated marketing and communications plan in order to support the University's strategic goals for recruiting and fundraising, and to help raise the profile of this institution nationally… We are NOT dropping The University of the South from our name, and we are NOT moving away from our Southern heritage. To do so would be misguided and disingenuous.”), Sewanee E-News, April, 2004
3. Sewanee in the Tennessean (“I sat in on several of the meetings… It was the insiders who wanted to play down the southern image.”), Old Fishing Hat blog, April 7, 2004
4. On Changing School's Name (“I never had to deal with anything like this. When I came here, I was very, very, very shocked at seeing the Confederate flag.”), Nashville Tennessean, April 7, 2004
5. Order of Gownsmen Resolution: The only proper usage of the University's name (“ ‘Sewanee: The University of the South’ detracts from the official title.”), April 7, 2004
6. Nashville's Fox17 Television News Story (investigative expose of Lipman-Hearne 2004 Integrated report and the “Sewanee: The University of the South” name change scandal), reporter Sky Arnold, evening news, April 15, 2004
7. Forever Meridiana ("Immortalis est Sententia"), www.ForeverMeridiana.org, April 16, 2004
8. VC Flags Down the Flags: Administration says "No" to flags despite OG request (“…some voiced concerns about the possibility that some students would be offended by the presence of the Confederate battle flag emblem in a few of the state flags.”), Sewanee Purple, April 21, 2004
9. The Name: Identity Crisis; Identity Restructuring? Identity Theft?: What’s in a Name?, front page investigative expose and “An Interview with Joe Romano” (“Was Lipman-Hearne a part of Sewanee’s original drive to get into the [U.S. News and World Report] Top 25? When was Lipman-Hearne first hired? Can you provide me with all of their previous consulting reports? If not, why not? Are they secret? Who paid for them?”), Sewanee Purple, April 21, 2004
10. Final Opinions, Letters to the Editor, Section C, a Polk and a Chitty respond to the name change (“You really need to hurry up and be more careful;” “It is foolish and shortsighted to pretend the past did not exist.”), Sewanee Purple, April 21, 2004
11. South's Gonna Do It Again- Apologize (“A ‘task force’ of educators and administrators - aided by outside consultants -painstakingly researched and deliberated to decide that a lot of potential students have negative feelings about the South.”), Tullahoma News, April 21, 2004; Tyree’s Tyrades blog, week of May 2, 2004
12. Dubious Endeavor, Letter to the Editor (“Do Sewanee-lovers really want to renounce its time-embossed name for some dubious new branding?”), Sewanee Mountain Messenger, April 22, 2004
13. A Visitor On The Hunley, History And The University Of The South, Letter to the Editor (“When history is a poison… Both Gorgas gentlemen are included in the infamous stained glass windows in All Saints’ Chapel and these have recently been labeled as a ‘negative image’ by off-the-Mountain marketing consultants.”), Charleston Mercury, April 29, 2004
14. Sewanee Gets Politically Corrected (“ ‘In 20 years you won’t know the place,’ Dunn gushed to Sewanee’s Board of Trustees in 1998. She outlined for them exactly what she had in mind… ‘There is no major or minor in women’s studies, or in African American Studies…’ ”), Campus Report Online, Accuracy in Academia, May 3, 2004
15. Sewanee Struggles With Image: Language about the South’s negativity removed from University’s marketing plan, front page investigative expose (“Early versions… talk about the South’s negative image and ‘troubled history of race relations.’ ”), Chattanooga Times-Free Press, May 6, 2004
16. University of the South Marketing Plan Stirs Complaints (“A Chicago marketing consultant suggested that the school downplay its ‘Southern’ identity because it has negative connotations for some prospective students. …said administrators trying to get the campus recognized in national rankings of small liberal arts colleges have decided that ‘Southern heritage is not a good thing. If you want to get back into the [U.S. News and World Report] Top 25, you get rid of that.’ ”), Associated Press, May 12, 2004
17. A Fairbanks and an Alumnus (C'85) respond to the Sewanee Identity Crisis, Letters to the Editor (“…has not contacted me… to notify us that we are supposed to be ashamed of our associations with the South;” “Some years ago I stopped giving money to Sewanee.”), Sewanee Purple, May 14, 2004
18. University of the South Wrestles with Its Identity (“…marketing study which recommends the school seek a more diverse undergraduate student body by… weakening ‘negative associations’ with the South.”), The Living Church, May 16, 2004
19. Sewanee Gets
New Dean and Copes with Name Change (“It's all about political correctness.
…you will find that the university now has a Women’s Studies
Department.”), Virtue Online, May 19, 2004
21. Name Change Explained - Early Version Referred to South's Troubled History (“[Romano] added that the study was geared to provide input on what might make the school more attractive to out-of-state students who know little about the university.”), Winchester Herald-Chronicle, May 24, 2004
22. The University of the S**th (“Craven administrators also deleted any mention of the University’s founder from its catalog because of his Confederate connection… The [Chicago] marketing study warned against the word ‘South’ in the University’s name…”), Lew Rockwell Online, May 28, 2004
23. Save Sewanee, Letters to the Editors (“It is with dismay, but not surprise, that I read of… a marketing study to define its place in modern academia;” “The problem is that if we will lie about one thing, we lie about anything.”), Living Church, May 30, 2004
24. Clarification: Sewanee Forever University of the South (new name excused by SEWANEE/The University of the South 1990 "word mark"), Cross and Crozier, Diocese of Tennessee, May-June, 2004
25. Talk about Your Speech Codes (“In Sewanee, TN, the PC police want the University of the South to change its name!”), Campus Leadership Program Online, June 13, 2004
26. The University of the South Decides to Change Name! Heads F****** Explode! (“This just in, the University of the South, founded a year before the Civil War started, blown the f**** ** by Union Forces, then rebuilt as a kick *** party school has decided to, **** ******* ***** ****, change its name to ‘Sewanee: The University of the South’ causing hundreds of southern young white students to s*** themselves. …The [consulting] firm… was brought in last winter to help the University diversify its student body, 8% of which consists of minorities.”), Blah F****** Blah blog, June 23, 2004
27. “Sewanee: The University of the South” (“The hot button for some folks has been our decision to be more consistent in referring to the University, in communications with outside audiences as Sewanee: The University of the South. For over a decade, the main logo for the University has combined the two names by which it is will known, and the group that developed the marketing plan committed to continuing and expanding that approach.”), Vice Chancellor's Corner, Sewanee Magazine, Summer, 2004
28. Sewanee Settles on New, Longer Name (“Confused? Apparently prospective students, parents, and alumni are too… If that new name happened to de-emphasize the university's Southern roots, that wouldn’t be a bad thing, the consultants said. The institution's rural location and name conjure up negative perceptions among some would-be applicants- especially members of minority groups.”), Chronicle of Higher Education, June 18, 2004
29. The University of the _ _ _ _ , front page investigative expose (“One of the last old-school holdouts in the increasingly politically correct world of higher education is succumbing to this academic trend…”), Campus Report, Volume XIX, Number 5, July-August, 2004
30. Vanderbilt Ranks 18th Among Top U.S. Schools (“The school was listed as ‘Sewanee — University of the South,’ a new arrangement that, by emphasizing the informal name over the formal one, has upset some alumni.”), Nashville Tennessean, August 20, 2004
31. South Going Left? (“Sewanee: The University of the South... this is a textbook case of the problems with the multicultural movement.”), Collegiate Network, August 20, 2004
32. Bad Word (“South”) Prompts University Name Change Recommendation, Strike the Root Online link to American Renaissance (“South Going Left?” Collegiate Network expose), August 21, 2004
33. Extremely P. C. Makeover at W&L (“The University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee, and Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., are the latest casualties of politically correct remodeling. The former school now lists itself in college guides as Sewanee: The University of the South, largely on the advice of a Chicago-based marketing firm.”), Campus Report Online, September 3, 2004
34. Sewanee: the (former) University of the South (“…as a cautionary tale of ‘consultants run amok at traditional Southern universities, trying to make them more acceptable to Northerners and minorities, and how it can backfire badly!… This is a warning [to Washington and Lee]… about how mad they will make alumni donors if they monkey with a good thing just for marketing and branding.’ ”), Trident On-Line, The Independent Student Newspaper at Washington and Lee University, September 9, 2004
35. Print version of the Trident's “Sewanee: the (former) University of the South” article (includes photo of airbrushed-out All Saints' Confederate battle flag in fundraising brochure), September 9, 2004
36. The Un-University of the Non-South, Letter to the Editor of the Sewanee Purple (“Yankees have an inherent and un-quenchable thirst to dominate… If your Yankee marketing consultants had been more interested in promoting the truth about your university, instead of manipulating your identity and misrepresenting who you are, they would have reflected what the best people always say about Sewanee. Everyone knows that Sewanee is THE UNIVERSITY OF THE OLD SOUTH…”), Southern Heritage News and Views Online, September 24, 2004
37. Get the Name Right!, Letter to the Editor (“On January 6, 1858, the State of Tennessee issued the corporate charter: ‘...in fact and in name, by the name of THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH, and by that name shall have perpetual succession…’ ‘Sewanee: The University of the South’ is a marketing slogan proposed by an outside consultant and adopted by the University's public relations office in the year 2004… [the] Order of Gownsmen… recently passed a resolution demanding the abandonment of this new name…”), DioLog, News of the Episcopal Church in North and Middle Georgia, Diocese of Atlanta, September-October, 2004
38. An Open Letter Concerning the University Mace, Letter to the Editor (“…the administration appears intent on pressing forward with its use of Lipman Hearne's bastardization… Particularly troubling, in light of its high monetary value, is the disappearance of the University's processional mace, given to the University of the South and dedicated to the memory of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.”), Sewanee Purple, first issue, Advent Semester, 2004
39. Ethnic Cleansing of Dixie (“The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, is under PC pressure to change its 130+ year-old name [147 years in 2004] to something more yankee friendly.”), Georgia Heritage Coalition Online, November 17, 2004
40. AWAY DOWN SOUTH: A History of Southern Identity, new book (“...negative associations for prospective students... In response, officials announced the school would henceforth be known as ‘Sewanee: The University of the South.’ ”), Dr. James C. Cobb, 2005
41. Symbols of the Confederacy: Pride or Prejudice? (“The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., conducted a marketing study that suggested the private liberal arts school divorce itself somewhat from its connection to Southern heritage, including a prominent historical marker for a building known as ‘Rebel's Rest.’ ”), Nashville Tennessean, January 6, 2005
42. “Sewanee, The University of the South” (“Recently the institution has begun combining its two names and bills itself as ‘Sewanee: The University of the South.’ ”), Wikipedia nline, January 26, 2005
43. Graphic Identity
Standards Manual for Sewanee: The University of the South (Section 5.1-
“So, for extended audiences unfamiliar with the institution, the
naming convention ‘Sewanee: The University of the South’ should
be used on a first reference. Subsequent references may be to ‘Sewanee’
or ‘the University.’ This convention should not be used for
those familiar with the University. Appropriate use of this convention
is for admissions publications. An inappropriate use would be in alumni
publications or those intended for the community.”), February, 2005
45. Colleges Downplay Old South, front page investigative expose, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 13, 2005; final edition, title changed from February 12, 2005, edition and photograph removed
46. Evolving South Still Faces Unlawful Past (re-titled Christian Science Monitor article), USA Today Online, February 23, 2005
47. Battle Over the Past Rages on in an Evolving South (“University of the South...are downplaying old Confederate-era rituals and even the word ‘South’…”), Christian Science Monitor Online, February 24, 2005
48. Debate Over Southern Culture Growing Deeper, link to Christian Science Monitor article, Drudge Report Online headline, February 24, 2005
49. Stupid, Stupid Sewanee (“I shudder at the mention of Sewanee in this article about the assault on Southern culture (often from within) -and the woeful acquiescence of many vanguard institutions, like the University of the South.”), Moot Life blog, February 24, 2005
50. Southern Universities Shed Their Stereotypes (“...Sewanee: The University of the South... choosing to remove Confederate symbols and Southern traditions...”), Vanderbilt Hustler Online, February 28, 2005
51. University of the South Image Change (“A hired northern consulting firm's concern that our southern identity is somehow damaging...”), The Mint Julep blog, February 28, 2005
52. University of the South (“Every few years, with the influx of a new group of students, colleges in the South face this dilemma.”), Ketty Ket blog, February 28, 2005
53. Don't Tell It on the Mountain: How politically correct administrators are destroying the University of the South, front cover investigative expose (“Sometime in 1997, the University's Mace...disappeared.”), Southern Partisan, Volume XXIV, No 2, February, 2005
54. Thoughts Unspoken: The University of the South (“The University's higher powers changed the name of our school without listening to our input- they did it in the name of progress and diversification.”), Sewanee Purple, Vol. CLXXXIV, No. 3, March 5, 2005
55. Colleges Revisit Race in History (“At Sewanee: The University of the South, Confederate flags and memorabilia are disappearing from its campus, and a revamped logo features its official name, ‘The University of the South,’ in smaller lettering.”), Daily Tar Heel Online, March 9, 2005
56. CSA Today- Virginia (“...following the example of the University of the South... Washington and Lee as hired... a PR firm to help improve its listing in U.S. News and World Report.”), Southern Partisan, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, April, 2005
57. In Sewanee-Related News (“…apparently there are those who worry that the school's association with the South is somehow tarnishing its image… I agree the school has some potential marketing issues, namely its homogeneity. Sewanee’s definitely a school for the progeny of wealthy, white, Southern gentry… It's like they were out to prove that Sewanee has a racist image...”), Jane Keeler blog, April 26, 2005
58. Guestbook Re Sewanee (#255- “However, in my experience people who… actually usual do hate. Fair or not, I have the same image of any school that is so proud of its southern nature that it puts the word ‘South’ in the title. …every time I heard University of the South, I pictured plantations and all that entails.” #257- “I would argue that the South as a whole is probably one of the most hateful and racist regions of the entire United States… It is interesting when I hear the University of the South... I also picture a bunch of rich white people…”), Jane Keeler blog, April 28-29, 2005
59. DuBose at Sewanee (“ We do not forever want new things; we want the art of keeping things forever new.” –Rev. Dr. William Porcher DuBose, 1911; “Jesus, You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Teach the Board of Regents how to pray as You prayed, drawing breath and strength and life from God.”), Lent and Beyond blog, May 1, 2005
60. Heads Up (“The university is being snarky about marketing and after we sell our current stock with the Seal, etc, we will not be allowed to order more.” Comments section- “Sudden ugly realization: This has to do with their name bull**it, doesn't it? This whole thing where ‘Sewanee’ is being substituted for the actual name of the college? I bet I'm right- growls.”), Girls and Boys of Sewanee blog, May 13, 2005
61. Valedictory Address at The University of the South, Katharine Wilkinson, (“And now we’ve picked up a colon that leaves us with three difficult choices! What’s the deal with all these names, and why can’t we just keep things simple?”), Sewanee Online, May 15, 2005
62. Sewanee Financed by Slavery?, link to Washington Post Online article “The Myth of the Wicked Slave Trader” (“Deyle seems to relish naming the big slave dealers and even informing us that so distinguished a Southern institution as the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn., was, at the outset, substantially financed by slave-trading fortunes.”), Blog Blog Wolf Wolf blog, May 26, 2005
63. Help Needed for University of the South Name Change, Notices from Around the Confederation (“...has been outed for changing its name to ‘Sewanee: The University of the South’ ...and for Confederate reminders to disappear... most famously the University Mace...”), Confederate Veteran, Volume 63, No. 2, May/June 2005
64. The 'New South' Scorns an Old Mace (“It is interesting therefore, that the mace of the University of the South has been the center of one of the scandals of the age of political correctness... the PC crowd lusts for the destruction of all tradition...” Comments section- “…since it is an Episcopal institution it comes as no great surprise that they should abandon tradition;” “…the University of the South should not deny its Confederate connections in an underhanded way. It should do so outright, with great fanfare and to the sound of trumpets. The Confederacy was an evil institution. It was racist, enforced slavery… and lacked all honour;” “You people who complain about Sewanee's Confederates need to remember that there are plenty of places in Yankeeland where you can go to have your infantile cry-baby sensibilites protected and coddled, even in ghettos like scalawag Vanderbilt in Nashville or carpetbagger Emory in Atlanta;” “…the cure will be even more multicultural diversity. Students must learn to appreciated different cultures, not fight against them.”), Andrew Cusack blog, July 10, 2005
65. More PC Erasures of Southern Tradition, link to Andrew Cusack Sewanee Mace story (“Another attempt to erase Confederates and our traditions.”), The Old Dominion blog, July 15, 2005
66. Partisan Letters (“the Mace... as good a story as the Vanderbilt/UDC lawsuit...;” “…article struck a nerve and enraged me about the situation at The University of the South.”), Southern Partisan, Volume XXIV, No. 4, July, 2005
67. To Woo Students, Colleges Choose Names That Sell (“Because of the familiarity, university officials have essentially given in, said Joe Romano, a University of the South spokesman. On its Web site, the institution is identified as Sewanee in large type, with the University of the South in much smaller type below.”), New York Times, August 11, 2005
68. More Problems at Sewanee (“Here is the course description for the new ‘cross-dressing’ class at Sewanee…. Note that the teacher of this course, Rita Kipp, is the Dean of the College. Better think twice about sending your kids to this ‘Episcopal Institution.’ ” [i.e. “Sewanee: The Episcopal University”]), Romans 12:2 blog, September 1, 2005
69. The Controversy over the University Seal (“At the beginning of the year, the University published a graphic identity manual in order to refine and formalize the appearance of Sewanee documents such as letterheads and brochures.”), Sewanee Purple, September 23, 2005
70. Sewanee Shuffle, Editor's Letter (“...forced [the administration] to produce the mace and it appears that it was never damaged...”), Southern Partisan, Volume XXIV, No. 5, October, 2005
71. Blog Subtitle (“A kid from the South, The University of: Sewanee... or whatever it is now.”), The Southern Liberal blog, October 5, 2005
72. Keep My Eyes from Watching What Is Worthless (“…I dreamed of visiting the National Cathedral, or to go below the Mason-Dixon Line, and see the University of the South at Sewanee… I also visited Sewanee on one of my very infrequent trips to the South, but it came too late. Both institutions that had filled me with hope and longing for the Incarnation of the Kingdom of God here on Earth, which Christ promised in the Lord’s Prayer… had apostatized- the University of the South had as many ‘womynpriests’ as any other heretical academy of Untruth while the ‘National Cathedral’ was more interested in ‘mazes’ on the Cathedral floor, and tours ‘guiding one through the mazes,’ than Truth, with a Capital ‘T.’ ”) The White Christ blog, October 9, 2005
73. In Desire to Grow, Colleges in South Battle With Roots, front page investigative expose (“Then, in 1997, the mace, which was carried by the president of the Order of Gownsmen at academic processions, vanished… About 30 alumni then offered to pay for repairing the mace, but the university declined their gift.”), New York Times, November 30, 2005
74. Social Justice Archives, link to New York Times Article, Anti-Racism Net, November 30, 2005
75. Political Correctness at University of the South (“Submission to contemporary prejudice and political correctness is seen by many college executives as necessary for achieving so-called ‘diverse’ enrollments, i.e. student bodies featuring significant percentages of members of designated victims’ groups, and national reputation.”), Never Yet Melted blog, November 30, 2005
76. Memory on the Sewanee Campus (“And for those of you interested in these kinds of issues, the spring's going to be busy- it will bring the report by Brown University's Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, more debate on naming Sewanee and related issues of the memory of the Civil War on that campus, and further discussion of UNC's acknowledgement of its connections to slavery.”), Concurring Opinions blog, November 30, 2005
77. Sewanee (“University officials think it's time to distance itself from a past that includes ties to the Confederacy and may play a part in the low minority attendance [4% African-American, 2% Hispanic, 2% Asian-American].”), Ablogistan blog, November 30, 2005
78. Southern Pride, Comments (“America's South is losing its regional distinctiveness by progress, the PC crowd and appeasement of minorities.”), Pith in the Wind, Nashville Scene weblog, November 30, 2005
79. Free Market Winning the Civil War, link to New York Times article, Big Tent blog, November 30, 2005
80. University of the South (“Colleges like Sewanee are attempting to distance themselves from their Confederate pasts to appeal to current students but some alumni feel that their alma maters are slighting the institutions' histories.”), Chronicle of Philantropy, November 30, 2005
81. New York State of Mind, link to New York Times article (“In non-news, some people in the South still hate us and don’t want us at their universities. But they still love the Confederate flag and mediocre wealthy white students.”), Feministe blog, November 30,2005
82. The “Apple” Calling the Kettle Black (“The second article is about how southern schools, namely Sewanee, are laboring under the residual stigma associated with the Civil War. …the southern schools who are attempting to cover up the ugly realities of their past should take some tips from New York.”), Snakebelly Low blog, November 30, 2005
83. The University Of The South - History And Culture Betrayed, Comments section (“…I do not think that it would be inappropriate for a Christian institution to remove the Confederate battle flag from its insignia and consecrated spaces… If the Confederate battle flag is a scandal to some, then it has to go, whatever its associations for any particular person or people;” “Nor particularly, should we dishonor either that history or those men by kow-towing to false PC agendas about inclusion/exclusion rubbish;” “My older daughter… left [Sewanee] because of the terrible social atmosphere up on the mountain. Undergraduates are overwhelmingly members of fraternities and sororities…;” “My Civil War professor, a native of Brooklyn, was fond of likening the Confederacy to Nazi Germany.”) Drell’s Descants blog, November 30, 2005
84. The Competition between Universities for Students Is Fierce (“So why am I thinking that certain schools in the South will ultimately lose this battle? …when are you going to realize that saying the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride is tantamount to saying that the swastika is ‘just’ a Buddhist religious icon? …all you're doing is reinforcing the aura of racism and prejudice that your alma mater is trying so desperately to dispel;” Comments section- “…you also have to make the place more appealing to prospective students, or else that market will dry up. Ultimately, the new student end has to win, or else you're just Red Neck University with a small student body of dedicated racists...;” “But, when you really think about it, do the schools even WANT their alums' money if it's going to have strings attached, like, ‘Toward the tuition of the most qualified WHITE students, only?’ Note how they were also trying to disassociate themselves from the names of prominent racists.”), Kethylia Duuk'Tarquith Live Journal blog, November 30, 2005
85. Sewanee E-News Special Edition ("Today’s story in the New York Times brings even broader coverage of the University’s efforts to weave together Sewanee’s rich heritage of history and tradition with our ongoing work to attract and serve well outstanding students nationally and internationally… We have already heard from several alumni and friends about today's article. Some have been critical, but many believe… that this can lead to wider recognition and appreciation of the University.”), Sewanee E-News, November 30, 2005
86. New York Times article post, Comments section (“The ideology of revisionism, and the ignoble tactics it employed, destroyed the Episcopal Church. The faculty at Sewanee are people of the same persuasion. Left unchallenged they will gut the traditions and purpose of a fine institution;” “…this just seems like another lingering post Civil War Reconstruction dispute, with the exception that this particular ‘reconstruction’ is being imposed from within, rather than from without. Some of the traditions some of the alumni are trying to uphold seem odious to me;” “Ought we hide our history and heritage? Ought we demean our ancestors due to latter-day revisionists? Ought we concede the field to those who despise what we stand for?”), Titusonenine blog, December 1, 2005
87. Breaking News, link to New York Times article, History News Network Online, December 1, 2005
88. New York Times article post, Comments section (“Simple- stop giving money to alma maters that no longer properly respect your viewpoint. It might even convey the message that they who have the gold makes the rules, not the left-wingnuts who have infiltrated the entire educational system of our country, in the guise of ‘diversity,’ equal opportunity, affirmative action, etc., etc.”), American Renaissance, December 1, 2005
89. Confederate Flag Shouldn’t Symbolize Southern Pride (A story in yesterday's New York Times… discussed some schools' struggles with how to maintain symbols of their Southern heritage (i.e., Confederate insignia) while drawing students from the whole country. What doesn't occur to many of the alumni of Southern universities quoted in the article is that maybe those outsiders who are repulsed by the rebel flag have a point… Those schools that fly the stars and bars [battle flag] or have statues of Confederate generals do so at the expense of repelling students of different races and points of view…”), Kentucky Kernel Online, December 1, 2005
90. Sewanee: The University of Anything-but-the-South! (“Some alumni chafed as these traditions were relaxed, and many became alarmed as objects they held dear were removed to the archives or disappeared altogether.”), Whitehall blog, December 1, 2005
91. I’ll Take My Stand (“Unfortunately, Sewanee, by denying its history and its identity, is buying into Neil Young’s characterization of the South. Instead, Sewanee should assume its place as the conscience of the South, the place where issues of Southern identity are explored… [Mecham says] you should take a stand against things that are offensive both to prospective students and people who are the heart and soul of Sewanee. Huh? Obviously, things that are offensive to everyone will be eliminated… The mace should be carried…”), Solomon’s Compromise blog, December 1, 2005 I
92. Leave ‘em
in the Lurch (“…but [I] recoil when I hear suggestions that
the black gowns students in the Order of the Gownsmen have traditionally
worn to class are symbols of ‘patriarchy’ or some other nebulous,
sinister system of white, male power.”), Solomon’s Compromise
blog, December 1, 2005
94. A Sewanee for the 21st Century (“…at the end of the Civil War, a defeated Southern white elite retreated to that east Tennessee sojourn to perpetuate a vision of the good old South into a era when its values were surpassed… If you're at Sewanee, you may have to rethink the whole foundation of the institution.”), Cliopatira: A Group Blog, December 1, 2005
95. 8.5% Non-White ( “I’m amazed Sewanee College managed more than a quarter of that. …which tells you more about the region’s reputation post-1964 than post-1864.”), Jusiper blog, December 1, 2005
96. Sewanee (“…I understand what the administration is trying to do, but I also believe that we need to own who we are and not apologize for it. We are a Southern school, we are Episcopalian… A couple of years ago I felt that the university was in an identity crisis, I think its student decline and morale was a result of that crisis.”) Thoughts from Seminary blog, December 1, 2005
97. Southern College Culture (“It's common knowledge that most Confederate symbols we see around now-adays were instituted during the 60's as a response the civil rights movement... My question is: Why did you bring an African-American to a racist-faith chapel? …There should still be places where only privileged white males from the surrounding counties can go to learn to read, write, and speak with new world pomposity. Where else will people go to be indoctrinated into the unique southern culture combination that deftly mixes extreme injustice to African-Americans, with the nearly identical exploitation of poor whites, adds a touch of the revisionist mannerisms that are the foundation of any nouveau riche aristocracy, and then gently blends it into a froth using the icy slush of forced, insincere politeness. I believe Southern Gentleman-ship is a complex course of study that is best learned in an environment of immersion. …my ancestors were first slaves then free-blacks… It’s not going to help anyone to have kids from all over coming to these places. The alumni don’t want them and the kids don’t want to come. Why are you so hell bent of getting ‘others’ to attend these schools? I suggest you return to a focus on recruiting your traditional student body base: rich, local white boys who will learn the tried and true ways of the past… I believe they will support you generously if you give them a place to call home.”), Reality Speaks blog, December 1, 2005
98. What’s Way Down South? Excellent Universities! (“ ‘Being in the South Holds Back Southern Universities.’ That could have been the headline of a November 30th article in The New York Times… This is not to say that Southern campuses are immune from the need to confront the past, especially slavery.”) Think South blog, December 1, 2005
99. There’s a lot of Ridiculousness in this Article (“I have very little time for Southern pride, and none at all for Confederacy-fetishism. One can only hope that these weirdos eventually rejoin America in the 21st century.” ) Patsy Bluth blog, December 1, 2005
100. Snowbound Ripostes: Sewanee and the October Revolution (“If Forrest were, for example, a Sewanee alum, one might be able to argue a reason for the mace to remain prominent in school functions. However, I can see no reason to keep the thing around.”), Jane Keeler blog, December 2, 2005
101. Alumni Say the Darnedest Things (“Anxious to shed their school's regional image, administrators at the University of the South have begun to look askance at their campus's abundance of Lost Cause associations- which include a guest house named ‘Rebel’s Rest,’ a UDC monument to Confederate General (and professor) Edmund Kirby-Smith, and a ceremonial baton dedicated to KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest.”), Hiram Hoover blog, December 2, 2005
102. Sewanee in the News (“…a New York Times story revolving around the culture and traditions among southern universities.”), Pattern Recognition blog, December 3, 2005
103. Alma Mater (“…suffice to say that this card-carrying, born-and-bred Yankee has been more than a bit disturbed in years past with the decline of traditions of the University (i.e., the loss of the dress code, the fall by the wayside of the Order of the Gownsmen), but this article on the ‘white-washing’ (no pun intended) of the history of the University has sealed the fate on all future charitable and planned giving on my part.”), All Along the Shinscot blog, December 4, 2005
104. Southern Universities (“The article deals with the University of the South (Sewanee) and its move from a Southern/Confederate school to a more national institution. The things they've changed seem rather obvious and acceptable, like removing the baton of the Confederate general who founded the KKK, etc.”), Thoughts, Rants, and Musings blog, December 4, 2005
105. [University of Richmond] Is Not Alone (“…Sewanee University is having their problems… a small liberal arts university in Tennessee that has long-standing southern roots. In an effort to become a more national school and to diversify its student body (only 4.5% of Sewanee students are black), they are offending and alienating a lot of alumni. …Sewanee and the aforementioned schools are weeding out traditions that stem from the Confederacy since many associate it with offensive connotations.”), My Musings on Education in the News blog, December 6, 2005
106. Some Colleges Obscuring Southern Roots for National Appeal (“The article focuses primarily on Sewanee: The University of the South, formerly just University of the South, which is based in Tennessee.”), There’s Nothing to Do Here! blog, December 6, 2005
107. Monument Law (“And people are talking more about removing monuments from parks or renaming them (such as the Nathan Bedford Forrest Park in Memphis). Sewanee: The University of South is going through something like this right now.”), Concurring Opinions, December 12, 2005
108. Deconstructing Tradition: University of the South supporters say political correctness destroying heritage, front page investigative expose (“The controversy was blown wide open last year  when the Chicago consulting firm Limpan-Hearne issued a marketing report commissioned by the school… ‘the South can prompt negative associations for prospective students…’ To make matters worse… a jewel-encrusted ceremonial mace with Confederate symbols used since 1965 ‘accidentally breaking’…”), Civil War Courier, Volume 21, Issue 1, January, 2006
109. University of the South: Timeline, front page investigative expose (“…a new administration arrived… quest for national respect by trying to get into the Top 25… The University declared that the broken Mace would be placed in the University Archives and a new mace had been commissioned. …news articles prompted alumni… to send checks to the University to repair the Mace; all checks were returned…”), Civil War Courier, Volume 21, Issue 1, January, 2006
110. Civil War Courier on the Battle of Sewanee, post of Civil War Courier article, Comments section (“If you do not respect the heritage of the place, it is time for the administrators to move onto other greener pastures. This is nothing but insulting;” “This effort to change the university into a southern annex of the Ivy League has been going on for some time and will continue until those members of the faculty who are ashamed of Sewanee’s heritage find employment where they would be more comfortable. And the sooner the better;” “I thought Sewanee was supposed to HIDE its Confederates, not show them on the front page of the New York Times to the yankee, minority and other multi-cult admissions preferreds.”), Drell’s Descants blog, January 4, 2006
111. Address Insensitivity,
Letter to the Editor (“Even more disappointing is Sewanee keeping
up a Confederate monument on campus… Does the university know what
an offensive message Confederate symbols convey? As part of the inclusive
Episcopal Church, it should.”), The Living Church, January 15, 2006
Franklin County Government: