I recently visited Sewanee, also known as the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, where I toured campus and spoke with the admissions office about the latest trends in admissions. Here are some takeaways from my visit:

· Sewanee is a small liberal arts college of just over 1,700 undergraduates. A stunning Gothic campus set atop a mountain in southern Tennessee near the Alabama and Georgia borders, Sewanee boasts a tight-knit, supportive community, small class sizes and accessible faculty, and a range of liberal arts programs along with a finance major and business minor.

· The campus, known as “The Domain,” is the second largest campus in the US at 13,000 acres and marked by forests, meadows, lakes, caves and rock outcroppings. It is also a living laboratory for students, who can major in seven different types of environmental science/studies programs. Students who love nature are often drawn to Sewanee, and there are ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, fishing and hunting.

· Sewanee is famous for being home to the Sewanee Review, the oldest literary quarterly in the US, and hosts the Sewanee Writers’ Conference each year. The creative writing major is among Sewanee’s strongest.

· The Babson Center for Global Commerce at Sewanee hosts the Carey Fellows Business Honors Program, which includes a semester-long, paid internship and trips to major cities to meet with Sewanee alumni in leadership positions at top companies. Students apply to join the program their freshman or sophomore year at Sewanee.

· Although Sewanee has modernized somewhat over the years, it is still marked by a range of celebrated campus traditions. The “Order of the Gown” mandates that all professors wear their academic gowns while teaching, and many students who have been inducted into Sewanee’s honor society wear their gowns to class. Some professors still enforce the “Dress Tradition,” requiring male students to come to class dressed in coat and tie.

· Sewanee is Episcopal, but there are no required religious services. The college library’s first volumes were donated by Oxford and Cambridge.

· 18% of students are students of color, and increasing diversity is an institutional priority. There is a DEI office and multicultural center on campus.

· Greek life is very popular, with 57% of men and 64% of women participating. Students rush spring of freshman year, and Greek events must be registered and publicly shared on a campus app so that all students have access. Since the Greek houses only house 2-4 students each, parties often happen block-party style outside the houses, with campus security overseeing them to ensure student safety.

· Students also enjoy a range of regular on-campus events (there are 100+ student orgs), and Sewanee sports games are popular (especially football, soccer and golf). Around 60% of students participate in either Div III, club or intramural sports. Students tend to be middle-of-the road politically.

· The town of Sewanee is very rural, comprising only 3,500 people, including students. Sewanee’s Vice Chancellor is the town mayor, the fire department is staffed by students, and students are generally very engaged in the local community. There’s a Walmart and Piggly Wiggly 15 minutes from campus, and the Nashville airport is about an 80-minute drive.

· 98% of students live on campus all four years. Themed housing is available, including language-based houses, pre-health housing, the Queer and Allied House and the Global House. Some single dorms are available for students who need them.