by Page Forrest
January 2012 – Shake Day – Editor-in-Chief Pamela Guerra (C’13) marked Mary Morrison (C’15) forever. As both a new ADT pledge and Junior Editor of The Sewanee Purple, she had to be protected at all costs. So rather than risk losing Morrison in the chaos of the day, Guerra scribbled on her arm “If found, please return to Purple office.” While the Sharpie only took a few days to wash off, the message stayed with Morrison for the rest of her time at Sewanee. So much so that her sophomore and junior years, Mary chose her dorms based on their proximity to the Bishop’s Common, where the office is located. Morrison has served the Purple tirelessly since her freshman year, working on layout staff since the first semester she arrived at Sewanee. Second semester, position of Junior Editor, and brought new life to the paper with her creative graphics. Morrison didn’t write an article until the fifth issue of that spring, when she published “One-Man Show Highlights Playwright-in-Residence David Roby.” However, she had no interest in writing, and so when Guerra “forced” her to write the piece, Morrison protested by writing it as poorly as she could. When “Sewanee Classifieds” she turned it in, Guerra caught on immediately and told her “Mary, you can’t do that. Go fix it.” She grudgingly adjusted the article, including an entire paragraph praising the lighting design of Andy Philpo (C’14). Little did she know that she would end up dating Philpo three years later. According to Morrison, though, he still has not read the article, and she is quote “pissed.” It included such gems as “Andy Philpo designed lights that perfectly accented Roby’s impeccable acting.”
Morrison was made Executive Editor the second semester of her junior year, setting her up as heir to the position of Editor-in-Chief. It was during the Advent Semester of 2013 that Page Forrest (C’17) first met Morrison. “It was really bizarre – kind of like looking into a mirror and seeing someone who looked like me, but prettier, funnier, and just really good at everything. Basically I wanted to be her.” Morrison’s first issue as Editor-in-Chief was published on January 29, 2014. She came a long way from intentionally sabotaging her own work, writing the front-page piece for the issue. Since then, she has led the Purple through two amazing semesters, featuring everything from bringing back the hour-by-hour recap of Spring Party to breaking coverage of changes in class registration. “Mary is really cool, and has been a great editor, always open to new ideas for the Purple, and is very accepting of new members. I’m going to miss her forgetting my name,” said InSoo Lee (C’15), a staff writer.
Claire Burgess (C’17), a member of the layout staff, had equally enthusiastic things to say about Morrison. “Mary is such an angel, she flies around so majestically and affects everyone in positive ways. And if you cut off her wings, she just grabs a broomstick and continues to fly. She’s just flexible like that.” Mary, we will all miss you so much. You’ve been an amazing editor and friend to all of us, and we’ll miss you next semester. The Purple won’t be the same without you.