Emeritus faculty recognition went to Dr. William Dent and Dr. Marcia Keith, who retired this spring. Dent, a Maryville College graduate of the class of 1957, ended a 38-year career at the College as professor of mathematics; Keith, professor of education, taught students at the College for 15 years.
In recognizing the professors during the commencement exercises, Maryville College Interim Vice President and Dean of the College Dr. Robert J. Naylor explained that "emeritus" status is an honor conferred upon retiring professors based on a vote of the tenured faculty. Eligibility includes attaining the rank of professor and teaching at the College for at least 10 years.
Of Dent, Naylor said he first came to the College as an undergraduate in 1954, returned as a professor in 1964 and served as chair of the division of mathematics and computer science for nearly 25 years.
"His students know him for his great depth of knowledge, masterful skill in articulating mathematical concepts and immense patience with neophytes to the abstract realm of mathematics," Naylor said. "His colleagues are deeply grateful for the years of penetrating insight and quiet expressions of wisdom, his resolute dedication to the College and its mission, and, particularly, his model of indefatigable integrity."
Naylor praised Keith for her work to build, nearly from scratch, a first-rate teacher education program.
"The scores of our graduates now teaching across this region know she has succeeded beyond all expectations," Naylor said. "She is an educator of very great stature, an administrator of implacable pluck and a colleague revered for the passion of her convictions.
"More than a few of you graduates refer to her as Dr. Marcia 'No-Nonsense' Keith as you assert she is a 'fountain of knowledge' and 'the best teacher I have ever had,'" he added.
Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state‘s third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for its academic rigor and its focus on the liberal arts, Maryville is where students come to stretch their minds, stretch themselves and learn how to make a difference in the world. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester was 1,168.