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SEWANEE University Regrettably Succumbs to Post-Modernism and Pansexuality-Pt.I

SEWANEE: University of the South Regrettably Succumbs to Post-Modernism and Pansexuality - Part 1
University Elects Pro-Gay Bishop as Chancellor
Trustees Dump Ft. Worth Bishop's Orthodox Trustees

This is the first in a three-part series on the University of the South, the Episcopal Church's only university with a School of Theology as it transitions into the 21st Century.

Special Investigation and Exclusive Report

By David W. Virtue

Sewanee: The University of the South, The Episcopal Church's only university with a School of Theology continues undergoing profound and troubling changes as it heads into the 21st Century - changes that most who love Sewanee know compromise both its historic and intellectual character as well as its theological integrity.

The campus, affectionately known as "The Mountain," is owned by the twenty-eight southern dioceses of the Episcopal Church. Its Sewanee School of Theology is an official seminary of the church. Known simply as Sewanee, the school has produced 25 Rhodes Scholars and was ranked 36th in the annual US News & World Report list of liberal arts colleges, having fallen in recent years from a high of 24th. Sewanee is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South.

The renaming of The University of the South to "Sewanee: The University of the South" in 2004 was an official attempt to recruit and retain more minority and non-Southern students. Most students and alumni were, and continue to be, offended by the "distancing" University from its historic association with the best of Southern culture.

According to the Wikipedia editorial enforcers, the controversy has generally subsided, though in fact, several students and most alumni bitterly recall the "name change." The Sewanee administration still claims no change occurred to the institution's official name. Sewanee's own Identity Standards manual forbids usage of the new "Sewanee: The University of the South" name for usage with community, student, and alumni publications, but the rule is universally broken.


A significant sign of the changing and transformed character of the university came when Sewanee trustees "elected" the pro-homosexual friendly Bishop of Atlanta, J. Neil Alexander, as Chancellor and President of the Board of Trustees of Sewanee for a six year term. At the same time, trustees from Bishop Jack Iker's Diocese of Ft. Worth were removed and two new Trustees from the Episcopal Church reconstituted (rump) version of the Diocese of Ft. Worth were seated.

Only Bishops Alexander and Philip Duncan (Diocese of Central Gulf Coast) were offered to the trustees on the Chancellor ballot. When Duncan withdrew himself from the ballot, Alexander was acclaimed as Chancellor without any voting. The University website still maintains he was "elected."

With their acclamation gift of the Sewanee Chancellorship to Alexander, the trustees sent a forceful signal to the Anglican Communion that Sewanee officially endorses the gay agenda. No previous chancellor has been as openly pro-homosexual as Bishop Alexander, who authored "This Far by Grace: A Bishop's Journey Through Questions of Homosexuality." In this volume, Bishop Alexander offers a personal view of his changing outlook from exclusion to acceptance.

The decision to dump trustees from Bishop Iker's diocese did not sit well with the Anglo-Catholic bishop.

"The decision to remove our duly elected trustees was disappointing, but not surprising. The people they seated were elected at a 'special meeting' that lacked a quorum in both orders and was conducted in violation of the constitution and canons of the diocese. This is yet another example of the liberals in TEC making up the rules as they go along," Bishop Iker told VOL.

Thanks to that toxic and divisive violation, the Anglican Communion and the Sewanee community now finally have irrefutable proof that Sewanee: The Episcopal University is officially and institutionally tainted within its highest chambers of governance by the poisonous gay revolution within the Episcopal Church. The sickness of TEC's corrupting influence upon historic Sewanee is now irredeemable.

The warning bells have rung never again to be silent. Delusional hoping for the best is no longer a viable stewardship option. Beloved Sewanee of legend and lore is dead, having been slowly and incrementally killed off by radical liberals who use the cover of the Episcopal Church and Sewanee's complicated and confusing governing structure for their transgressions, deceit, and subterfuge.

The deadly cancer within the Episcopal Church ultimately spread through its Episcopal University. Now the best and boldest hopes for Sewanee are sickened and dying.

Sewanee's far distant remote location has become its liability. Alumni and donors cannot visit frequently enough to regularly inspect those aspects of university life that persistently and noxiously violate the purity of the founders' Christian vision. The difficulty of remoteness became an engine of the operational wave of change pushed by the hands of those who have overseen the deluge. Now is too late for alumni and donors to turn the ugly tide back in the right direction.

The Birmingham, Alabama, crowd would have been best suited for the job of stopping the Sewanee's fall from grace, but they spent their visits to the Mountain at the beach music cocktail parties instead of paying attention to who was benefitting personally from their uber largess.

Even if they did have suspicions, Alabama Bishop Henry N. Parsley would have used his executive skills and manipulative tricks to keep them quiet and harmless. As long as they can go to Homecoming and see mostly people who look like them, they think Sewanee is still Old Sewanee and deserving of the next big class reunion donation. See:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewanee/4014380390/in/photostream/; http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewanee/4017781228/in/set-72157622590590042/; http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewanee/3856075245/sizes/o/in/set-72157622018010923/

The Charleston, South Carolina, crowd, full of potential to offer much needed Godly help, kept itself too rare a presence on the Mountain, evidencing that they probably knew the score better than the rest of Sewanee's concerned alumni and trustees.

The right folks from Nashville and Chattanooga were either too busy vying for committee control, which means they were distracted with keeping themselves liked by the administration, or they just gave up in frustration and went home.

Atlanta was stuck in traffic and didn't care.

Although Sewannee's buildings and ceremonies look deceptively somewhat as they did in better days, its corporate character has been consumed and rotted by liberalizing Episcopal forces alien to its true historic purpose and sanctified Biblical mission.


However, more and more of its stakeholders are sensing something remains wrong and is getting worse. They are finding the new Sewanee a repugnance instead of attractive, as evidenced by the 56% of alumni who will not give to the unrestricted annual Sewanee Fund. Even though they are accused of "standing in the way of progress," they apparently know better than to support those who have profoundly changed Sewanee for the worst.

Sewanee was theirs as intended, and they know it was vandalized and stolen from them by outsiders and interlopers. VOL has covered Sewanee's decline and the resulting rise in alumni social consciousness. See:

http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6367 and http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=5170 and http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=4055


In 1997-1998, Sewanee brought in Mary Maples Dunn of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, an ultra-feminist, pro-homosexual, afro-centric consultant to help shape the university's future. After listening to the concerns of the liberal feminist and allegedly under-appreciated minority faculty, and studying the outdated traditional curriculum, she advised the trustees on how the inclusive Episcopal Church should give them hope for Sewanee's future. Her suggestions and plans were later implemented without dissent. Were she to revisit Sewanee she would be very pleased with the success of progressive change that has transformed Sewanee into what Bishop Neil Alexander now wants it to be.

She predicted to the trustees in 1998 that "In 20 years you won't know the place." She was off by just a tad over half. Instead of 2018, Sewanee is unrecognizable right now, in 2009.

Nothing about her institutional prediction and hopes was told to Sewanee's most generous donors, especially the very generous contingent from Birmingham who did so much for the recent Sewanee Call capital campaign. Why would they give money to the Sewanee they know and love just to see their Sewanee become unknowable and unlovable? How could they possibly love the new Sewanee if it was designed by the likes of Ms. Maples Dunn and constructed by her radical fellow travelers at Sewanee who are hostile to Birmingham's own conservative theological and social interests?

Most loyal donors attached to Sewanee through legacy family connections rightly want to enjoy Sewanee as a place of refuge. They go back there to get away from the Maples Dunn vision of a degraded society that surrounds them in the cities of the decaying New South. They don't welcome the same decay and breakdown at Sewanee.

Having been solicited for gifts without being told that the money would be used to make Sewanee "unknowable" makes donors the victims of material misrepresentation. They, or their deprived heirs, should be asking questions. Not knowing her prediction and how it was sponsored by Sewanee's administration and accepted by its trustees, donors were incapacitated from making an informed decision with all relevant facts necessary before agreeing to a donation. If they were not told about Maples Dunn's report while being solicited by fundraisers, then relevant facts were withheld, and the duty owed to donors by Sewanee was unmet.

If they had been told how she had been brought to the Mountain specifically because her instructions gave gravitas to the goals of the Sewanee administration, they would have reacted as they should and withheld their money for truly charitable uses. Had they known, they would have been given a needed and helpful opportunity to reassess how their "loyalty" to Sewanee is manipulated for the financial benefit of those who despise the true Sewanee.

Even though they weren't told, VOL asks if they, too, are to blame for Sewanee's problems? Shouldn't they have been automatically suspicious of an institution holding itself out the public as "the Episcopal University?" Ever since the 1960's, loyal Episcopalians have watched as one foundational source of denominational strength after the other has been sinisterly corroded and eroded away. Sewanee donors fatally misjudged that the remnant conservatism of the church in the South and at Sewanee would steadfastly protect Sewanee from the corruptions of the controlling Episcopal Church.

They funded with their own money the changing of Sewanee into something horrid and unrecognizable. Alexander's election completes the disfiguration.

When donors learned of Maples Dunn's predictions, the proper feeling of betrayal set in, but far too late. The trustees accepted Maples Dunn's report without questions or complaints. An Episcopal board that would do that can be expected to eventually appoint a pro-gay Bishop like Alexander as its President and the University's Chancellor.

"There are, as yet, few courses in gender studies or human sexuality; the words gay and lesbian do not appear. There is no major or minor in women's studies, or in African American Studies, there is relatively (to other top-notch liberal arts institutions) little non-western material (the near absence of the Mid-East is rather striking), but they are on the way, and Sewanee is on the verge of considerable change in the curriculum," wrote Dunn. See http://www.academia.org/sewanee-gets-politically-corrected/.

She was right about the forthcoming considerable change, but that didn't improve her talent as a prophetess.

She underestimated the power of the gay agenda within the Episcopal Church and its dominating influence at Sewanee. In 1998, the Episcopal Church was only five years away from consecrating its first openly homosexual bishop, a Sewanee alumnus. If she had known that, she would have more accurately predicted that, "In ten years you won't know the place."

Nine of Sewanee's owning bishops consented to openly gay Gene Robinson's consecration as Bishop of New Hampshire, most prominently Neil Alexander and Ted Gulick, both of whom are trustees and were on the latest ballot for Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

By 2008, pro-gay Bishop Alexander had been on Sewanee's powerful board of regents for three years. One year later, he was chancellor. Alexander is not an alumnus of either the college or seminary. He was a Lutheran, a denomination which has recently followed TEC onto the gay train. Sewanee is not something dear to him or a legacy institution within the preceding generations of his Southern family. His son attended the college only because Alexander was serving on the Seminary faculty at the time. Children of the faculty are given the unearned privilege of free tuition.

Alexander is a director of the "Living Our Vows" program of the TEC House of Bishops. Another director is reviled Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is infamous in Christendom for recently declaring "the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."

Serving with Alexander and Jefferts Schori as directors of the TEC Vows program is Bishop Edwin F. Gulick, Sewanee Trustee and provisional bishop of TEC Diocese of Fort Worth. Surprisingly, if not distressingly, no African Americans serve with Alexander on the board of directors of this highly intellectual educational program board. Other HOB Vows faculty members are homosexual Sewanee alumnus Gene Robinson and Sewanee trustee Bishop Porter Taylor. Sewanee's immediate past Chancellor and continuing trustee, Bishop Parsley is on the Continuing Education Committee, which is 100% Caucasian.

Sewanee will now be nothing more than Alexander's project for the cause of enforced Diversity, tolerance, and minority privilege masquerading as anti-racism, radical social justice, and all forms of Multiculturalism.

The more Sewanee becomes Maples Dunn's version of "unrecognizable," the more successful will be his tenure as Bishop of Atlanta. If he can show TEC how he "marched Sewanee along the road of progress" into the perfect vision of Episcopal inclusivity, he will be a shoe in to be the next Presiding Bishop. He's building the perfect resume for the PB job in 2015, the same year his term as Chancellor ends.

Thanks to our loyal readers and supporters on the Mountain, VOL correctly predicted that he would be the shoe in candidate for Sewanee's Chancellorship, but we had no idea he would be acclaimed to the position without opposition. We weren't as suspicious of Sewanee then as we are now.

Based on the tenants of TEC's anti-racism, Church institutions are still infected with institutional and structural racism, which means there are too many whites in positions of authority and power, all receiving the highest paychecks.

As a foreshadowing of Alexander's most likely solution to this "race problem," Maples Dunn praised herself to the Sewanee trustees in her 1998 report when she proclaimed that she saw too many whites in staff positions at Smith College, where she was president. She successfully put a moratorium on hiring more whites, and the number of African American staff increased dramatically. Maples Dunn, who is white, did not step down and offer her presidency to an African American.

(VOL wonders how Maples Dunn avoided an Equal Opportunity class action lawsuit from those qualified white job candidates who were tacitly discouraged from applying because of her anti- racist hiring policies? Even now, Sewanee's own Position Announcement for its next Vice-Chancellor search gives the anti-racist warning with "The University of the South is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply." Even the Vice-Chancellor search firm proudly proclaims itself as "a minority and female owned retained executive search firm." Therefore, twice does Sewanee favorably encourage minorities and women to apply for the Vice-Chancellorship, while simultaneously Sewanee twice implicitly discourages majority Caucasian males from applying. By specifically encouraging women and minorities, Sewanee seems to be intentionally discouraging white males from the Vice Chancellor's recruitment process.)

Alexander's anti-racism ministry will dismantle institutional racism by hiring fewer whites and filling Sewanee's job positions with "deserving" minorities. Alexander is white, but in fine Maples Dunn tradition, won't step down from his position of ultimate Sewanee power by giving his job to an African American. He'll keep that all for himself.

Sewanee's fragility made it vulnerable to such a TEC conquest. Over the last two decades, the administrative non-Sewanee forces have steadily moved corporate Sewanee over to their anti-Sewanee agendas. With their hands on the budget and possessing the financial power to hire greater numbers of fundraisers, they have successfully overcome all obstacles to fundamental change.


Last month, Sewanee's Office of Multicultural Affairs sponsored the Sewanee's Mountain Lambda gay club at Rebel's Rest, one of the most sacred shrines on the Mountain. The flyer distributed to students read: "October 6, 2009 from 7-9 p.m., Rebel's Rest, An informal gathering of gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning men and their male supporters in the Sewanee Community. Women are welcome to attend and support Sewanee's GBTQ men. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be provided."

Gays reigned at the recent annual Sewanee homecoming. At a local Episcopal parish which provides hospitality, Gene Robinson was mentioned with pride. "The Rainbow Society and the University's Gay Straight Alliance will host a Meet and Greet at Brooks Hall, formerly the rectory of Otey Parish." This event was in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, Gene Robinson's graduation from Sewanee, and National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11. "Look for the large pride banner." screamed the hosts of the events. http://tinyurl.com/yhb228v

Sewanee' rainbow gays get page one in the student newspaper. http://tinyurl.com/yfwarjx, with no alternative commentary from Sewanee's orthodox bishops. Just silence.

Visitors to Sewanee's website easily can find the Gay Straight Alliance page and listen to an interview with Sewanee's gay bishop. http://www.sewanee.edu/gsa/talks/vgr_041407 Along with praising Robinson, the Gay Straights at Sewanee thanked "the Cunninghams for their hospitality and support." Vice Chancellor Joel Cunningham will retire at the end of this academic year. He and his wife Trudy will stay on the Mountain. During his term, he successfully raised over $200,000,000, much of it from Chicago and Birmingham.

Robinson's visit to the Mountain was highlighted in the Sewanee alumni magazine, Summer 2007. In the edition titled "Celebrating 150 Years of Vision and Innovation," the Episcopal innovations in morality and homosexuality were celebrated in the person of Bishop Robinson.

"Also in April Robinson spoke in Guerry Auditorium before a group of students from several regional colleges as well as members of the Sewanee community. The Bishop of New Hampshire, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, is at the center of a heated debate in the Episcopal Church on clergy and sexuality. Robinson was invited to the campus by the Gay/Straight Alliance, a student organization, as the keynote speaker for the two-day Southeastern College Summit for Human Equality."

"During his presentation, Robinson talked about his embrace of the Episcopal Church while an undergraduate at Sewanee, finding it a place where he could ask many questions and seek answers."


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