Sewanee Parents Enrich the Sewanee Experience

November 14, 2018

Equestrian team with new trailer

Equestrian Trailer Makes waves

new trailer for the equestrian team and a truck to pull it has been made possible by a group of equestrian parents who are certain they want to help enrich the Sewanee experience for their children and students for years to come. The Bloomer trailer gets great reviews from horse lovers, and the team is ready to travel. More than 18 families have contributed to the project, including Joe and Connie Whisenhunt, P’22, of Conway, Arkansas.. “Everyone has been excited about this project, from the manufacturer to the students,” Joe says. “The parents have been really generous, and we are excited about the experiences our students will have as a result of these new acquisitions.”


Family portrait

Pictured from left, Todd Johnson, P’21, P’22; Sally Johnson (grandmother of Pierce); Pierce Johnson, C’21; David Johnson, C’59 (grandfather of Pierce); Paige Johnson, P’21, P’22, and Hill Johnson, C’22.

Fitness Center in Wellness Commons Eagerly anticipated

The Johnson Family Fitness Center will be a popular feature of the new Wellness Commons with thanks to the generosity of Paige and Todd Johnson, P’21, P’22, of Houston, Texas. Joining them in the gift are Todd’s father, David M. Johnson, C’59, and the Willard and Ruth Johnson Foundation.  

“We are excited to be able to help make this new Wellness Commons come together,” says Todd Johnson of the gift. “We know firsthand that physical, spiritual, and mental well-being are important in the lives of students, and we know the fitness center fills a real need.” 

The University is growing closer to its fundraising goals, which will make this project possible, along with the allied Village Store, which will sell textbooks, commercial books, and clothing and be an anchor of the Village revitalization project. Some naming opportunities are still available related to the two projects, which will be highly visible on the University Avenue corridor. 

Mark and Patsy Bates head shot

When Mark and Patsy Bates P’06, P’11, of Quincy, Florida, heard about the renovation as a guest house of the Greek Revival home on Roark’s Cove Road across from the football field, they wanted to be in on the project. They quickly made a lead gift, claiming the naming rights for the porch on the Centennial House, which will be renovated when fundraising is complete and named in honor of the Class of 1968, the Centennial class at Sewanee. The class raised over $400,000 to renovate the home and claimed naming rights for the entire project. With the Batses’s gift, the porch will be named in honor of the couple’s children, John C’06, and Julia, C’11, and their daughter-in-law, Alexandria, C’12. Both children had graduation parties at the house, and John and Alexandria met on the porch at Julia’s graduation party. The couple had previously endowed the Bates Pre-Business Internship.

Davis fund gives valuable support to Tennis teams

Responding to a need for a predictable level of support for the Tiger Tennis program, Davis and Christian Owen, P’21, have agreed to establish the Owen Tiger Tennis endowment, which will generate a predictable level of funding year after year. “We are big believers in Tiger Tennis,” says Davis. “The teams are performing at a high level, and we want them to have the support they deserve. Eventually, we hope other parents will add to this fund so we can provide even greater assistance to students who are traveling to compete and represent Sewanee.”