University to celebrate Foundation Day Sept. 21 and Founders’ Day Oct. 12

Ning Tang, C'98

The University of the South will revive an old tradition and celebrate Foundation Day this month to observe the 150th anniversary of the matriculation of its first nine students, which occurred on September 18, 1868. The celebration will coincide with Family Weekend and will include both a Convocation on Friday, Sept. 21, and the dedication of an EQB monument.

During the Foundation Day Convocation, Vice-Chancellor John McCardell will give remarks observing the significant occasion, and students will be inducted into the Order of the Gown. Only students receiving (or giving) gowns and families of new OG members will have tickets for admission to the Chapel. All others are invited to watch this special Convocation in Guerry Auditorium.

The more familiar Founders’ Day celebration will include a Convocation at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Ning Tang, C’98, will give the Founders’ Day address. Tang is the founder and CEO of CreditEase, a global financial technology leader specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management.

In conjunction with Founders’ Day, Christy Coleman and Waite Rawls from the American Civil War Museum (Richmond, Virginia) will offer a public conversation at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in Guerry Auditorium. The American Civil War Museum is the nation's first museum to explore the story of the Civil War from three perspectives—Union, Confederate, and African American. Coleman and Waite will have a conversation about understanding the Civil War from these multiple perspectives.

“Looking back at the Civil War and its legacies, we find that different participants had differing perspectives and that many of those perspectives were changing during the course of the war and continued to change in its aftermath,” said Rawls. “Our challenge with the museum is to demonstrate this phenomenon and to show that it is appropriate that we, in the 21st century, can also have differing perspectives about its conduct and its meaning. It is a complex topic which defies a sound bite, and one size certainly does not and should not fit all.”