The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South

Sewanee Speak

Abbo’s Alley is a cultivated nature walk that crosses South Carolina Avenue.

All Saints’ Chapel is the University’s main center for worship and the spiritual center of the campus. Although the building is of cathedral-like stature, a cathedral refers to a place where a bishop presides and because there is no bishop at All Saints’, it is technically a chapel.

BC is the abbreviation for Bishop’s Common, the student union and home to a variety of offices, The Tiger Bay Pub, and the Student Post Office.

COTA (pronounced “coat-ah”) is the acronym for the Chapel of the Apostles, the seminary chapel. This acronym is used by everybody except for the Dean, who won’t!

The Cross is the large white war memorial cross at the end of Tennessee Avenue that overlooks the Valley (toward Cowan and Winchester). It is a favorite sunset-watching spot, and the Perimeter Trail goes right through the spot as well.

The Domain is the campus plus the areas controlled by the University, approximately 13,000 acres. The University owns all the land on the Domain but leases parcels to people who own homes or businesses.

Downtown or the Village refers to the business area of Sewanee. There is a bank, post office, gas station, coffee shop, art gallery, a couple of restaurants, a frozen yogurt shop, salons, gift shops, a bicycle shop, and the electric utility office.

EQB, or Ecce Quam Bonum, is the University motto. The translation is “How good it is” shortened from “How good it is when brethren dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133). The EQB also refers to a club and meeting room located near the Telecommunications Office.

Lost Cove is a lovely piece of land of 3,000 acres jointly owned by the University and The Land Trust for Tennessee. This area is managed by Sewanee and used for both academic and recreational purposes.

Midway (so named for being mid-way between Sewanee and Monteagle) may be reached by turning the opposite way from the entrance to St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School. St. James’ Church and the Midway Market are located in Midway.

OG is the abbreviation for The Order of Gownsmen, the University’s honor society. Following British academic tradition (Sewanee is modeled on Oxford University in many ways), faculty wear academic gowns while lecturing. Undergraduates are inducted into the Order of the Gownsmen by reaching a certain GPA. All seminarians are members of the Order of the Gownsmen by virtue of matriculation at The School of Theology. Seminarians wear their academic gowns on Wednesdays.

Otey is the shortened version of Otey Memorial Parish, the only Episcopal parish located on the Domain, named after one of the Sewanee’s founding bishops.

PMO is Parent’s Morning Out, the childcare program at The School of Theology, offered two days a week.

PPS is Physical Plant Services, the folks that keep this place looking nice and in working order.

Proctor's Hall is not a building. It is a rock along the Perimeter Trail and a road name.

SAS is short for St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, a private Episcopal school (grades 6-12, boarding and day).

SES is short for Sewanee Elementary School, the only public elementary school in Sewanee (grades K-5).

Shakerag Hollow is a hiking area along the perimeter trail to see wildflowers and many other beautiful sites. (Although the flowers are beautiful, it is forbidden to take any of the plants. So, do resist the urge to take them home with you!)

S of T, is the shortcut for The School of Theology.

SPO is the Student Post Office, located in the BC (see above). Pronounced “spoe.” SPO is used as a noun (“Take these to the SPO.”) or as a verb (“I’ll SPO it to you.”).

St. Mary’s is an Episcopal convent just off the Domain. It is also a retreat and conference center.

SUT  is the Sewanee Union Theater on South Carolina Avenue, across from All Saints’ Chapel. The SUT shows second-run movies on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights for $3.00 admission, and older, often artsy movies on Thursday nights for free. All shows are at 7:30 p.m. (Yes, it’s just one movie at a time, one screen, one room.)

The Gates are the University’s gates located on Highway 41. There is a student tradition to touch the ceiling of your car as you drive out the gates to grab an angel to protect you until you return to Sewanee. The story of the Sewanee angel is available for sale at the Lemon Fair, one of the gift shops downtown.

The Messenger or Sewanee Mountain Messenger is the weekly local newspaper.

The Mountain refers to the entire area on the plateau.

The Pig is the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Monteagle, the closest grocery store to campus.

The Valley is the portion of Franklin County that is not on the Mountain, including Cowan, Winchester, and Decherd.

V-C is short for the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor position at Sewanee is equivalent to the President position at most universities. Because Sewanee is owned by the Episcopal Church, the Chancellor of the University must be one of the bishops from one of the owning dioceses. The chancellor performs ceremonial functions and is the formal head of the University, but remains in his or her diocese as bishop and thus does not function day-to-day at the University as a university president would. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that the University functions according to the University Ordinances as dictated by the Boards of Trustees and Regents, concentrating on the overall strategic plans for the University and major fund raising.

The Woodlands is the University housing development located off Roarks Cove Road where most seminarians live. It is also sometimes referred to as Fertile Acres because of the rate at which the population of seminary children grows each year.

Yea, Sewanee’s Right! is the University cheer. The full cheer is “Tigers! Tigers! Leave them in the lurch. Down with the heathen, up with the church. Yea, Sewanee’s Right.”