Dear Sewanee Family,
The big week is here—Sewanee’s new families arrived on campus a few days ago, and classes begin tomorrow! In University Relations, we’re more than ready to see U-Hauls lining the parking lots and lively crowds chatting at Stirling’s. Students and seminarians energize the Mountain, and we can’t wait for our community to feel whole again.
We packed the final weeks of summer with a flurry of exciting Sewanee Club events and student send-offs. Many thanks to those of you who joined us at receptions around the country, from Houston to Raleigh-Durham to right here in Sewanee. Vice-Chancellor Robert Pearigen, C’76, and his wife Phoebe came to many of these gatherings, which was a real treat! (As you may know, the Pearigens are the proud parents of two Sewanee graduates, Carolyn, C'14, and Wes, C'17!) We’ll continue to hold Sewanee Club gatherings throughout the fall, so stay tuned if the Mountain hasn’t reached your area yet.
We’re indebted to you for giving Sewanee a strong finish to Fiscal Year 2023. We closed the books with an amazing $31M in gifts and pledges! This number includes $16.4M in cash contributed throughout the year by 7,902 members of our wonderful Sewanee family.
Because alumni giving is so vital to Sewanee's well-being, I'm especially pleased to share that 3,844 college graduates and 276 School of Theology graduates contributed to the Sewanee Fund in FY2023, enabling the University to meet year-to-year needs. Special congratulations to our Sewanee Fund awardees—and cheers to the college’s Class of 1970, which impressively achieved 100% participation in Sewanee Fund giving!
As the academic year kicks off, Vice-Chancellor Pearigen has shared that he’s eager to hear your hopes and dreams for Sewanee. If you haven’t already taken the time to fill out this short form, please do!
I’m thrilled for you to meet the Sewanee donors we’ve featured in this issue of Philanthropy and Engagement, and I hope you’ll share your feedback and ideas. You’re always welcome to email me at email@example.com.
With gratitude and excitement for the year ahead,
Vice President for University Relations
Board of Regents Chair Jim Folds, C'86, Shapes Sewanee's Future with Strategic Giving
Jim Folds, C'86, enrolled at Sewanee without knowing anyone on the Mountain—and with few campus visits under his belt. Four decades later, he holds a top University leadership position, and he's committed to cultivating fulfilling Sewanee experiences for current and future generations of students. Recently, Folds provided a $250,000 gift toward the renovation of the Fowler Center, partly inspired by fond memories of playing on Sewanee's men's basketball team. With his brother, David Folds, C'89, he has also established an endowed scholarship. "One motivation for my service to Sewanee is the fact that we have so much incredible potential as a university and as a place," he says.
Jim Folds, C'86, Chair of Sewanee's
Board of Regents
Philanthropy in Action
Sewanee Alumni and Friends Support the University Through Impactful Gifts
School of Theology Fideles Society
The Rev. Gedge Gayle, Jr., T'63, T'76
“I have great affection for Sewanee's campus and for the progress that the School of Theology continues to make."
Sewanee Fund and
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Program
Amber Singleton Camiul, C'11
"Whatever I can give, I give. And as I can give more, I give more."
“The more I learn about Sewanee, the more interested I am in giving money to the things I believe need support."
Janet and David Wrather, P'21, Support Sewanee 'In Perpetuity'
Two years have passed since Janet and David Wrather, P'21, celebrated their daughter Abbie's graduation from Sewanee, but they continue to make the Mountain a philanthropic priority. Their most recent gift will create the Wrather Family Training Room in the renovated Fowler Center. They have also established two endowed scholarships and a spendable scholarship, and they've funded a broad range of University programs, from field hockey to pre-med. "Sewanee is a beautiful place, and I really feel I want it to succeed in perpetuity," Janet says.
Janet and David Wrather, P'21, with Abbie at her gowning ceremony in 2018
Reminder: Double Your Impact by Supporting West Study Away and Ralston Listening Library Challenges
Thanks to the generosity of Holland, C'75, and Debbie West, you can now play a central role in transporting students to places they've never been—whether that's a cave in Iceland or the middle of a Beethoven sonata.
Through the end of Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2023, every dollar given to Sewanee's study away program, as part of the Wests' challenge, will be matched up to $50,000. Through December 31, 2023, the Wests will also match all gifts made to the Ralston Listening Library up to $50,000.
Make your gift by following this link and entering Study Away Program: West Matching Challenge or Ralston Listening Library: West Matching Challenge as your designation.
Trinity Wall Street Awards $40K to the School of Theology
Earlier this summer, the School of Theology received a $40,000 gift from the Episcopal Theological Education Fund at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York, NY. A long-standing supporter, Trinity has been vital in helping Sewanee’s seminary form skilled and devout leaders for the Episcopal Church. In particular, Trinity’s contributions have strengthened the School of Theology’s 1% for Theological Education Fund, which helps cover spiritual direction and counseling services, need-based and merit scholarships, and emergency financial assistance to seminarians, among other services.
Dr. Rob Garris, Trinity’s Managing Director of Leadership Development, shared that this year’s gift has been provided in recognition of Sewanee’s new leadership under Vice-Chancellor Robert W. Pearigen, C’76. In thanking Trinity for their gift, the School of Theology’s Director of Annual Giving, the Rev. Casey Perkins, T’22, noted, “Parish and diocesan support is absolutely essential in maintaining our 1% Fund and ensuring that our seminarians can begin their ministries debt-free. We are so grateful that Trinity sees and appreciates the value of a School of Theology education.”
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