Sewanee was one of six institutions participating in the Posse Award Ceremony on Wednesday, January 4, that recognized 61 outstanding high school students from the Washington, D.C., area. Ten of those outstanding students will be the first scholars in Sewanee's class of 2016.
The ceremony allows each of the partnering institutions to recognize their scholars, then the moderator allows parents, siblings, and community members an opportunity to recognize their scholars with heartfelt sentiments about their achievement and their journey ahead.
The ceremony's conclusion turns the microphone over to the scholars to share impromptu remarks to their family and community. Their offerings include words of excitement and meaningful gestures of appreciation. This celebration recognized Sewanee's sixth cohort of 10 Posse scholars.
Last May, Sewanee graduated the first collection of Posse scholars and since the programs inception the program has either directly or indirectly resulted in:
• An increase in the number of multicultural students
• Multicultural students participating in or leading domestic and/or international outreach trips
• The formation of a gospel choir, Sewanee Praise, which performs regularly in local churches and on campus
• A more diverse Greek system in racial representation, in meaningful service and in ideology
• An a cappella vocal group known as Rescue
• The creation of Culture Fest, an annual event hosted by an ever-increasing number of multicultural student organizations
• An Annual Posse Plus retreat held off-campus on a variety of social topics, engaging nearly 100 students, faculty, and staff for three days
• Activism in responding to issues of disrespect and insensitivity
• Increased diversity in student leadership roles like residence life staff, in local community service, and in the cultural offering on our campus
Of our first 10 Posse scholars, five were nominated for the highest honors we offer, namely the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (4) and the Clarence Day Award for Service (2). These student leaders offered a profound student voice that will be felt for many generations.