The University of the South launches Stronger Truer Sewanee, the largest capital campaign in university history

Students and Professor in a chemistry lab

The University of the South has announced a $250 million fundraising campaign, called Stronger Truer Sewanee—The Campaign for the University of the South. The campaign is the most ambitious in Sewanee’s history.

To date, more than $175 million (70 percent of the goal) has already been raised; colleges typically announce the “public” phase of a fundraising campaign about halfway through.

Vice-Chancellor John McCardell introduced the Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign to the university’s Board of Trustees earlier this month, at a meeting marking the 150th anniversary of the first post-Civil War meeting of the Trustees. “We have been successful stewards of the founders’ vision,” said McCardell. “Yet we cannot stand still. The campaign priorities are designed not to make Sewanee like some other place, but rather a stronger, truer version of its essential self.”

The campaign aims to support four strategic goals:

  • Ensuring access, value, and opportunity for all college and seminary students through an expansion of resources for financial aid and internships.
  • Reinforcing academic distinction by continually building a world-class faculty and creating innovative academic programs that complement and build on Sewanee’s traditional disciplines.
  • Enriching the Sewanee experience through facilities such as a new University Commons and programs focused on enhancing wellness and community life.
  • Preparing tomorrow’s church leaders by relocating the School of Theology to its historic home in the center of campus, creating new sources of financial aid, and creating dynamic new lay programs in the Episcopal Church.

Campaign tri-chairs are Nick, C’68, and Mary Babson of Missoula, Montana; David, C’68, and Kitty Beecken of Chicago, Illinois; and Claude, C’73, and Kate Nielsen of Birmingham, Alabama.

Nick Babson says that the university has the resources—quality, breadth, and depth of faculty, students, and staff—to support an investment in the university’s future. “It is our responsibility—alumni, Trustees, friends—to get this campaign successfully to the finish line,” said Babson.

“For all who love Sewanee, this is our time. For all who have shared in the splendor of this place and been transformed by it, this is our chance,” McCardell said. “This campaign offers us an opportunity to demonstrate the same confidence, courage, faith, and hope that our ‘second founders’ demonstrated 150 years ago.”