Professor Gerald Smith, Vice Chancellor Emeritus Samuel Williamson, and University of Florida Professor Bertram Wyatt Brown (C’53, H’85) have been appointed general editors for a sesquicentennial history of the University of the South, according to an announcement by Nicholas Babson, chair of Sewanee’s Board of Regents, and Vice Chancellor Joel Cunningham. The editors will be joined by other members of the University’s faculty and staff who will contribute articles on aspects of the University’s and the community’s history since 1857. As a preparation for this project Dr. Williamson taught an Easter-term course on the history of the University.
Ten students in the course worked on topics ranging from Sewanee in the Southeastern Conference, to the V-12 program during World War II to student pranks and antics during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The students’ papers will provide a point of departure for some of the subsequent research on the history. Also interviews with faculty and alumni were a part of establishing an oral history base for future generations of researchers and interested alumni. Already issues of the Sewanee Magazine have sought contributions from alumni and friends about anecdotes from the past in anticipation of this history project. Those efforts will now be expanded to include a special email address for alumni, students, and friends who wish to contribute information that can assist in the project. There will also be a web page where some of these stories, along with progress reports from the editors and contributors, will appear. The history project will be a part of the University of the South’s overall sesquicentennial celebration, a celebration that will start on July 4, 2007, as the anniversary date of the first meeting of the Board of Trustees. The editors expect to have the history project completed in time for Founders’ Day, October 2007.