My Years at SUUSI

When is SUUSI?

A great place for a summer vacation and renewal: The Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute, or SUUSI for short. I have been going to SUUSI for nine years and intend to go for more in the future. Why? SUUSI Provides me with:
  1. A place to go to meet Nature: Hiking, rock climbing, swimming, and tubing.
  2. Participate in workshops that enable me to find out more about myself; perform some skill I have never done before, or just simply have fun with others.
  3. Attend worship and theme services that provide spiritual inspiration.
  4. Dance six nights of the week, including waltzing, contra-dancing, Latin dancing, and even Irish ceili dancing
  5. Help produce this fun and inspiration for others by conducting four workshops of my own.
I have constructed a quilt of the covers of the catalogs of the past 29 SUUSI's. Since 29 is prime, I filled in an extra square with a chalice to make it 30 in a 5x6 array. I attended SUUSI in 1986 and in 1992-2007. I wish to thank Alexis Jones for providing me with the covers for 1985, 1987 and 1991, and Ames Guyton for the covers for 1979-1984. If anyone has catalog covers before 1979 that they could provide me, please contact me at

Memoirs of my SUUSI trips for 1998-2007 are available on this mini-quilt. Clicking on 2008 gives you my preview for the next year. Click on the square for memoirs of my SUUSI for that year:

1998 Cover 1999 Cover 2000 Cover 2001 Cover 2002 Cover 2003 Cover
2004 Cover 2005 Cover

When is SUUSI?

A question gets asked often as to when SUUSI is. From what I have seen of the dates of SUUSI, all the way back to 1979, I have come up with these rules for determining the dates of SUUSI. I understand that a concern caused by school dates going back earlier and earlier into August is forcing SUUSI back earlier into July. That has caused the dates to change. Further, I hear of such expressions as "the third week in July". The problem is that there are two interpretations of this, depending on whether you count the week that contains days of June and July both in it as a week of July or not. So I have reworded it to refer to a specific date that SUUSI always contains. The rules I observe are these:

From 1979 (or maybe farther back) to 2002: SUUSI is the week from Sunday to Saturday that contained July 27. I therefore called that date “SUUSI day”, since it was always in SUUSI.

From 1997 to 2007: SUUSI occurs every 52 weeks.

From 2003 to the foreseeable future: SUUSI is the week from Sunday to Saturday that contains July 20. So now July 20 is SUUSI day, as it always occurs in SUUSI. In 2008, July 20 will be Ingathering Day.

There is one exception to these rules, namely 1996. The rules say this SUUSI should have been July 21-28. Instead, it was July 14-20 because the other dates coincided with a summer Olympics whose location was within SUUSI territory (Atlanta), and because that was when our host, Radford University, could accommodate us.

Applying this rule to 2007, we get that SUUSI in 2007 was on July 15-21. 2008 is a leap year, so that causes a jump of 2 dates; however, July 13-19 does not contain July 20. Therefore, in 2008, SUUSI jumps a week, invalidating the 52-week rule. It will be July 20-26 that year. This is the first year since 1997 that SUUSI hasn't been every 52 weeks. Sorry, folks, we have to wait another week to go to SUUSI this year, but it will be worth it.

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