Saturday, July 21, 2007

University of the South

I'm a Sewanee alum, and so I'm pained by a decision I've made recently. The news from the mountain has not been good. The Uni continues to march in the direction of academic conformity.

I've been making anonymous donations to Sewanee over the years. I'm not longer going to donate. I'm not happy with that decision. I loved my time there. But the place is just a place. The traditions that bound me to it are being destroyed. The Honor Code has been diminished. Tripe is being taught as truth. And the school looks much the same as every other liberal arts college out there. Except for size, the courses are identical to every state university out there. If Sewanee's goal is to be a smaller version of the University of Tennessee, I'm not going to support that.

What I loved about Sewanee was that she tried, when I was there, to imbue her students with a sense of honour and uprightness. We were taught, the men at least, to be Christian gentlemen. Maybe I'm naive or still a little too starry eyed, but I feel strongly that the world needs more, not less, of that sort of thing.

Now what is being taught is immorality, a worship of the zeitgeist and expedience and the flexibility to bend with the wind. None of which is truly a positive virtue. And none of which needs any encouragement in today's world.

The founders of Sewanee would be appalled at what has become of the place. But since they're dead white men, and were racists to boot, we can safely disregard their opinions, can't we?

Feeling a little blue right now. I think I'm going to go listen to my copy of the Drowsy Chaperone.

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