McCardell to become Sewanee’s 16th Vice Chancellor and President

John McCardell, college professor and emeritus president of Middlebury College, will not be returning to Middlebury for the 2010-2011 school year.  Today, the College announced that McCardell, who joined the history department here in 1976, has accepted a nomination to become Sewanee’s 16th Vice Chancellor and President.

In a press release, President Ron Liebowitz thanked McCardell and his wife, Bonnie, for their service to the community over the years.  Wrote Liebowitz, “The College also owes a debt of gratitude to Bonnie McCardell, who has long played an active role in the Middlebury community, particularly in the areas of child care and education. In 2004, she and John received an Honorary Alumni Plaque Award from the Alumni Association to highlight their many years and multiple dimensions of service, and in 2009, they both received honorary degrees from the College.” (For Sewanee’s press release on McCardell, click here.)

Though I am a sophomore and have only known Professor McCardell personally for a semester, I know that his presence here will be sorely missed. Most recently, McCardell has gained national attention for his founding of Choose Responsibility and his involvement in the Amethyst Initiative.  According to Sewanee’s press release, McCardell will step down as the president of Choose Responsibility once he assumes his new position, but will still “remain active in the issue [while] continuing to serve on the organization’s board and maintaining a leadership role in expanding the Amethyst Initiative in higher education.”

From all of us at MiddBlog: Good luck, Professor!

UPDATE: In a personal letter to friends, McCardell and his wife, Bonnie, had this to say about Sewanee/The University of the South:

Now, some 150 years later, Sewanee finds itself at a moment of great opportunity.  It has just successfully completed a $200 million capital campaign.  Its physical plant is in excellent shape.  Its faculty and student body are strong.  It aspires to greater things.  And, perhaps recalling its own history, it has turned to Vermont for its new leadership.

Sewanee’s Southern and Episcopal roots give it a special appeal to us.  Its School of Theology, its Writing Program and School of Letters, make it a genuine university.  And its stunningly beautiful 13,000 acres make it a place not only where God’s handiwork can in all seasons be discerned and glorified but also where those who would commit to serious study of the environment have all about them a most spectacular laboratory.


9 thoughts on “McCardell to become Sewanee’s 16th Vice Chancellor and President

  1. Sewanee is already acting like a bunch of rich, white Southern snobs towards our McCardell. They are probably just a bunch of redneck nouveau riche btards. They sound blatantly racist. McCardell will miss Middlebury very much. Racism can’t be cured, it must be eradicated. At Sewanee, that will mean no students left?


  2. Not sure one can assume that a website entitled “Virtue Online” speaks for the larger community of Sewanee, let alone the students who attend. I am certain a man of McCardell’s intelligence spent time with students, faculty and staff before he made the decision to walk into the waters. If anyone can traverse the road ahead with grace and purpose, I think McCardell can.

  3. Midd Parent,
    Thank you. Virtue Online definitely doesn’t speak for us. Sewanee is a vibrant, wonderful school with a surprisingly diverse student body. Rev./Mr. Virtue is known as a highly conservative and rather caustic writer, and we’ve essentially chosen to ignore his actions. That article is essentially Mr. Virtue and some angry alumnus from years past ranting about Sewanee becoming a more open and accepting institution.
    “Jevais Croberg” may want to note that the article is blasting Sewanee itself, and not just Dr. McCardell. Every student so far has spoken highly of him. I’ve met him, and he seems like a very capable person. We don’t care that he’s liberal. It’s a moderate campus- this isn’t just Liberty U with alcohol added.

  4. Sewanee, although a great place with great students, faculty and staff, has a very long way to go. There are current and recurring tensions happening here right now. The administration is not being proactive at all. Students of color are walking about in fear and anxiety. Please pray for us and spread the word so that action can happen and fast!

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