2017 Beyond the Gates: Preparing for Life and Work after Sewanee

The 13th annual Beyond the Gates was held on January 13-14, 2017. Forty-six alumni and parents returned to Sewanee to teach, coach, and mentor 76 students--all juniors and seniors. The weekend was packed with helpful information and plenty of time for conversation. Students learned about their strengths and how to craft an introduction, Emily-Post certified Sewanee parent Virginia Johnson taught networking etiquette and business dining etiquette, and panel discussions shared information about job search skills, interview skills, personal finance and leasing a first apartment, and succeeding in a first job. Students also had the opportunity to participate in a resume review, practice interview, LinkedIn workshop, graduate school workshop, and industry-specific panels. Four young graduates spoke at Saturday's lunch about their experiences since graduation and the lessons they have already learned. 

 BTG 2017 Alumni and Parent Participants

Alumni and Parent Participants

Friday evening's dinner was held at The Sewanee Inn where guests heard from Mercedes Abramo, C'92, the first woman and first American to serve as president and CEO of Cartier North America. She inspired listeners to embrace challenges and uncertainty and encouraged students to have confidence in the lessons learned at Sewanee as they prepare for their future careers. 

 ‌‌Mercedes Abramo

 Mercedes Abramo, C'92 at Friday's dinner

One of this year's students said about the event, "It gave me peace of mind and confidence going into my last semester. I think that feeling was better than everything I learned combined."


Since Beyond the Gates began, the keynote speakers have been 

2005: Wallace Westfeldt, C’47; journalist and former executive producer of NBC Nightly News and ABC Special Reports

2006: Read Carson Van de Water, C’86; Chairman of the National Mediation Board

2007: Cosmo Boyd, C’74; Financial Advisor and Senior VP, Smith Barney

2008: Linda Mayes, C’73; Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center

2009: Serena Satcher, C’85; physician

2010: The Hon. Karl Dean, P’10; Mayor of Nashville

2011: W. Marichal Gentry, C’86; Associate Dean of Yale College and Dean of Student Affairs

2012: Jennifer Bulkeley Staats, C’00; Strategist, Office of the Secretary of Defense

2013: Ted Dennard, C’88; Founder and CEO, Savannah Bee Company

2014: The Rev. Maryetta Anschutz, C’97; Founder and Head of School, Episcopal School of Los Angeles

2015: Meredith Walker, C'91; Smart Girls Co-Creator and Executive Producer

2016: Charlie Brock, C'87; CEO and President, Launch Tennessee

2017: Mercedes Abramo, C'92; President and CEO, Cartier North America

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