Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sewanee's Honor Code Apparently Doesn't Raise Concerns About Interactions With CEO Ted Rollins

University of the South at Sewanee

The University of the South at Sewanee is noted in higher education for its honor code. So it's curious that one of the school's most prominent alums has no concerns about breaking bread earlier this year with Campus Crest Communities CEO Ted Rollins--even though our reporting has shown, and public records make clear, Mr. Rollins hardly is an honorable fellow.

Sewanee, which is just north of Chattanooga, Tennessee, enjoys a reputation as one of the nation's finest private, liberal-arts colleges. Anna Durham Windrow, head of The Windrow Group in Nashville, has more than 25 years of experience in government relations and is a prominent and visible alumna of Sewanee. She has served on the school's Alumni Board and its College Visiting Committee.

Earlier this year, Windrow met with Ted Rollins and his daughter, Sarah, having lunch and showing them around the campus. Windrow is so close to Sewanee that she has a home in the mountains near the school.

Sarah Rollins wound up being admitted to Sewanee and became part of the freshman class in August. Best we can tell, Ms. Rollins is a bright young woman who would merit inclusion in the Sewanee student body, on her own merits. So why was Ted Rollins the one to lead the visit with Anna Durham Windrow? Why was Sherry Carroll Rollins, the mother and Birmingham resident who actually raised Sarah and her sister Emma, kept at an arm's distance?

I contacted Anna Durham Windrow recently to ask this primary question: Was she aware that Ted Rollins had taken steps in an Alabama divorce case that would lead to Sarah and her mother and sister winding up on food stamps? Was she aware that Ted Rollins had been convicted for a brutal assault on his stepson? Was she aware that Ted Rollins had been investigated for child sexual abuse in North Carolina?

Anna Durham Windrow
Anna Durham Windrow, is a seasoned public-relations professional, and she gave all the right answers. She did not seem to be aware of the ugliness in Ted Rollins' background, but that was not the focus of the visit at Sewanee. That, Ms. Windrow said, was all about Sarah Rollins, her interest in the college, and her qualifications as a promising student. (See video at the end of this post.)

Ms. Windrow gave a reasonable answer, and one hardly can blame her for wanting to focus on Sarah Rollins and not her father. If I had an opportunity to deflect attention away from Ted Rollins, I would do it, too. But it still does not answer this question: How does Ted Rollins, and his considerable ethical baggage, fit with an institution that sends the following message to its students?

In signing the Honor Code, you are pledging on your honor not to lie, cheat or steal or more simply put, to live honorably as a part of the Sewanee Community.

If Sewanee takes honor this seriously, why did it even allow Ted Rollins on campus? Is Rollins, trying to wrangle a deal where he can build one of his The Grove apartment complexes on the pristine Sewanee campus? If so, would this institution of honor conduct business with a CEO of dishonor?

We don't have the answers to those questions at the moment. But we do have my conversation with Anna Durham Windrow, and she was made well aware of the ugliness in Ted Rollins closet. You can check it out in the video below.

Actually, Ms. Windrow is aware of only a portion of the ugliness regarding Ted Rollins. I did not tell her about a maid discovering roughly 100 towels, soiled with fecal matter and other debris, in a closet at the family home back in the 1990s--around the time of the investigation regarding child sexual abuse. I did not tell Ms. Windrow of stories Sherry Rollins has shared with me on multiple occasions about two mysterious automobile accidents, involving both her and her daughters, in the years leading to her divorce from Ted Rollins. Ms. Windrow also wasn't told about a three-story fall that Ms. Rollins' son suffered while working on scaffolding at one of Ted Rollins' properties. That's the same son that Mr. Rollins assaulted--and the same son who was at the heart of the investigation for possible sexual abuse. The fall resulted in life-threatening injuries that required multiple surgeries and caused the son to lose his spleen.

Just how dishonorable is Ted Rollins? Why have Sherry Rollins and at least three of her four children experienced curious accidents that put their lives at risk? We will examine those questions in upcoming posts.

As for Ms. Windrow, she and I agree on one thing: It's heartening to see Sarah Rollins as part of the Sewanee family, especially given the hell Ted Rollins forced her, her mother, and her sister to experience. I've only had one conversation with Sarah Rollins, and that came when she called me out of the blue a few months ago. On that occasion, she seemed to want to talk about the relationship between her father and her half brother, the stepson Ted Rollins did abuse physically and was alleged to have abused sexually.

Sarah Rollins clearly was troubled by the relationship, and she did not pull any punches about what she understands to have gone on with her father and half brother. I found her to be most articulate and insightful.

We will examine her take on a difficult subject shortly, but for now, here is my discussion with Anna Durham Windrow:


Anonymous said...

It is a matter of time.

See the reporting at RT, below, and no doubt about what's to be, for the next no less than at the very least, a century of a "New American" reality.

And in honor of reality, which the Sewanee's Honor Code may or may not 'incorporate,' is the real history of how we got to be named "America," and it wasn't the Italian whose name sake allegedly was given to US. Nor the Welshman.

"Americans" actually first arrived from Africa, it appears in fact from the "Libyan" area of tribes.

detinU . . Amerrique or America in the Mayan language means, ...

. . & sometimes the suffix ‘-ique’ and ‘ika’ can mean not only wind or air but,

. . also a spirit that breathes, life itself ....

detinU . . United ....

detinU is a tribe that behaves as a patriarchy in 'Africa,' too.

“. . . And what of this elemental meaning?

.. To define it Carew echoes Marcou, who

.. In the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind,

There is to be more of this historical fact discovery as it is uncovered, meantime, the CIA and its families of owners, BUSH et al, are not immune from the international courts --

"... Italy’s highest criminal court upheld the guilty verdict of 23 Americans in connection with the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. The CIA agents that abducted an Egyptian terror suspect from a Milan street may now face extradition.

­.. Twenty-two CIA officers and one US Air Force officers were ordered to serve jail time in Italy for the illegal kidnapping of Egyptian terror suspect cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr from a Milan street in 2003. Nasr was transported to Egypt by the CIA as part of their extraordinary rendition program, where he was allegedly tortured for seven months.

.. The trial has been ongoing for three-and-a-half years, and the Americans charged have never been in Italian custody. Convicted in absentia, the Italian court ordered the Americans to serve prison sentences of seven to nine years.

.. The decision to uphold the guilty verdict by the Italian Court of Cassations on Wednesday marks the conclusion of the first trial anywhere in the world concerning the CIA’s controversial rendition program under President George W. Bush, under which terror suspects were abducted and flown to countries around the world where torture was allowed.

.. Defense lawyer for the Americans Alessia Sorgato said that the guilty verdict might open the door to possible extradition requests by the Italian government.

.. “It went badly. It went very badly," she told the Associated Press. "Now they will ask for extradition."

.. Sorgato also added that this was the final appeal for the Americans.

.. "You have to mark that this decision is the last one. We cannot do anything more for them," she said.

.. Although it is unknown if the Americans will be extradited to serve their sentences, they face the possibility of arrest if they ever travel to the European Union.

The filing of more than one year ago, at the Hague, International Criminal Court, ICC, has not been rejected. "HOPE may spring eternal here in Amerrique!"


Anonymous said...


Wondering about the higher ed and what is taught since the reality does not match up with how life is, in the country where Ted Rollins gets to do whatever it is that CEOs and "GOV" do:

"... Today, more than ever, it is essential to counter powerful governments and corporations that and are able to manipulate the media at will. When we consider that Director General of the CIA General Petraeus is on record as saying US strategy is to conduct a war of perceptions continuously through the news media, we don’t have to imagine much that the prevailing view of world forwarded by the mainstream media and swallowed by most people could well be based on a pack of lies .... con't at


"... Here in the UK, Reprieve and Leigh Day are bringing legal action against the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, over the passing of UK intelligence to the US for use in targeting of drone strikes in Pakistan. The case is scheduled to take place in the High Court next month ...

.. In a separate but accompanying article, we get a glimpse of some of the likely response from the Government’s lawyers. “Officials and analysts” told the Times that intelligence gathered by GCHQ, and other listening posts such as Men with Hill in Yorkshire are covered by secret “UKUSA Agreement” between Britain and the US:

”Under the terms of the terms of the secret 1946 UKUSA Agreement between Britain and the US, which is also known as the “Five Eyes” system, Britain’s network of listening stations is largely integrated, and its intelligence pooled with those of America and three other nations – Canada, New Zealand and Australia.”


What exactly do our future generations learn from the campuses that do what was done to Mrs. Rollins as though a respectable "Code of Honor?!"

We've not brought the war criminals to justice and innocent humans are incarcerated, "Don Siegelman," et al.

Until the U.S. grows up and gets real, there's no such idea: "education, honor codes."


Anonymous said...

I think I smell a Grove apartment complex in Sewanee's future. Methinks Ted Rollins is working on a deal.

Spasmoda said...

Are you saying Ted Rollins tried to have people killed? The stepson he assaulted fell three stories off scaffolding?

Geez, Louise!

Ray Ray said...

I have to give Ms. Windrow credit. She did a good job answering your questions.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Windrow is the classic "photo op" of the "Blob," so but of course she window dresses quite remarkably well, and then some. What an incredible statement about how "dark" is the actual "picture?"

She allowed a dishonor of Mrs. Rollins and "herein lies the rub."

Actions are words in truth.

Words were intentionally made to be other than actions. It's in the "Protocols," the "diplomat is not according to the words," or some twist about how to talk and not walk the same.

Ms. Windrow's walk is wobbly and Ted Rollins' is indeed a stumble and fall.


Curious George said...

Perhaps Suwanee can use towels with fecal soiling on them as promotional materials for campus tours.

Maybe they can hand them out at Ted Rollins' new apartment complex on campus.

Anonymous said...


You are wicked. Funny, but wicked.

jeffrey spruill said...

Why didn't you tell Ms. Windrow about the 100 towels soiled with fecal matter and other debris?

Sewanee etiquette?

legalschnauzer said...

I was afraid she might get verklempt.

legalschnauzer said...

Actually, the feces story made me verklempt, so I figured it would do the same to Ms. Windrow.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late coming to this party on the Sewanee Honor Code, but as an SMA grad of 1967 I feel compelled to add my two cents.

The Sewanee Honor Code was, and remains, one of the highest, most valued lessons I learned there. I maintain that Sewanee is not Sewanee without it. It also is a personal thing that requires personal adoption and strong commitment, or it is nothing. Sewanee the institution must present it as the foundational code it was always meant to be, and each student and faculty must ingest it spiritually, and then it might grow into the reality it was meant to be. It takes both the University administrators and the student to honor the code, or it is a sham.

But.. Sewanee is also a Christian institution, is it not? "Breaking bread" with sinners, even the worst of sinners, goes to the heart of it all, and is the right thing to do. Business transactions for perceived gain with known criminals, if Rollins be such, is surely unacceptable - but meeting and talking about his daughter's possible attendance, or anything else on his black heart for that matter, is not. In fact, Sewanee may be the perfect place for her.

If the concern is about Sewanee transacting business or exchanging commercial favors of any kind with a known abhorent criminal, then I might agree, it probably needs to be called out publicly and stopped. Otherwise, we may next see his name bronze-plaqued on his statue near the new Rollins Commons/Dorm. But there is no dishonor in talking.


Anonymous said...

To defend Sewanee's precious honor code in the same statement in which one claims that "breaking bread with sinners, even the worst of sinners, goes to the heart of it all," is nothing short of insane for a university that makes any sort of claim to be a "Christian institution."

Indeed, it's clear that there is little room for Christian forgiveness and compassion in the notoriously harsh punishments and exile imposed upon those accused of violating Sewanee's honor code. It's a system that bears little resemblance to a fair and proper judicial system. Any student can point a finger at any other student, and the accused is subsequently judged and sentenced by other students -- none of whom have any experience with the law. In fact, there is minimal proof of guilt required, and many cases are judged purely on circumstantial evidence at best. There are no professors or administrators who oversee or even attend these "hearings." According to a recent survey of Sewanee students and faculty, it seems that these hearings and subsequent punishments greatly resemble the Salem witch trails. Of course, it was the Puritans who carried out the sentences in Salem. They too were Christians, so I suppose I must concede that point!

I invite anyone who is considering Sewanee as a possible college choice to read the fascinating (and, sadly, much criticized by Sewanee alumni) account of one recent graduate, Tasha Saunders, who was found guilty of an honor code violation her freshman year. Following her expulsion, Ms, Saunders was brave enough to return and ultimately write her senior thesis that eloquently points out the flaws and, dare I say, most un-Christian aspects of Sewanee's honor code.

So instead of this institution and its alums continuing to hide behind a veil of secrecy and "tradition," perhaps the more Christian thing to do is heed Ms. Saunders findings and suggestions to revisit the administration of Sewanee's honor code. It's clear that the time has come for the University of the South to implement a more fair and just system for its students and faculty.

legalschnauzer said...

@1:48 --

It sounds like a system set up for witch hunts. I've never been to Sewanee, but several people have told me it's the most beautiful place they've ever seen. Too bad it has a lot of ugliness beneath the surface. Michael Odom, one of the attorneys who screwed us over in the early days of our legal woes, is a Sewanee grad. I've seen no sign that he recognizes any honor code.