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The University of the South

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 8 months ago

 The University of the South



Gary DeMar



When the founding of colleges comes up in conversation among Christians, Harvard and Yale are singled out as two institutions with a Christian founding. But there are many more—some nationally known while others only have regional notoriety. In 1860, the cornerstone for the University of the South, located in Sewanee, Tennessee, was laid. The school was the vision of Bishop-General Leonidas Polk (1806–1864). In 1856, he wrote a letter to southern Bishops proposing the establishment of a school “for the advancement of learning . . . and for the propagation of the Gospel.” The school was dedicated to “the cultivation of true Religion, learning and virtue, that thereby God may be glorified , and the happiness of man be advanced.” Polk never saw the reality of his vision. He was killed during the Atlanta campaign on Pine Mountain, Georgia (near Marietta) while he and Generals Johnston and Hardee were on reconnaissance. Bishop Jonathan G. Sherman, speaking at Polk’s 150th birthday anniversary on April 10, 1956, said, “As long as there are those who teach and those who learn on the mountain-top at Sewanee, the name of Leonidas Polk will be remembered among those choice vessels of God's grace, for whom the Church will ever yield to Almighty God most high praise and hearty thanks.”1


1 The material for this article was supplied by Tom Snowden III, “Bishop Leonidas Polk’s Birthday,” The Sewanee Purple, the student newspaper of The University of the South (Easter Semester, April 2005). http://leonidaspolk.org/Bi-Centennial%20Birthday%201%2024.html


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