Comments of Wayne R. Kramer to the Maryville College Board of Directors
after having been elected chair
Oct. 21, 2011
First, I simply want to say "thank you" for the confidence this Board has expressed in me. I accept your nomination and your vote to serve as Chair of the Maryville College Board of Directors.
In 1907, more than 100 years ago, my grandfather, Ralph W. Lloyd, left the Ute Indian Reservation in Whiterocks, Utah, and traveled over land to Maryville, Tennessee, to enroll in the Preparatory School at Maryville College. In our family, we have a book titled "Our Children's Lloyd Ancestors." It is a book that my grandfather, with the assistance of others in the family, wrote in the years following his retirement as President of Maryville College. In the book, he talks about how it came to be that he attended this institution. I want to read from one small portion of that book. It states as follows:
In that September (i.e., September 1907), I went back to Tennessee with a plan to live again in Grandpa Jones' home and attend school in Knoxville. He decided, however, it would be better that I go over to Maryville College and enter the Preparatory Department (which the College maintained then and for another eighteen years), living in a dormitory there. This I did and they generously classified me as a first year high school student. Entering late, I found studies pretty hard, but the situation improved steadily. I passed all my courses, and made some good lifelong friends. I roomed in Memorial Hall and took my meals at the college dining hall which then was in Baldwin Hall (both Memorial and Baldwin have now disappeared). I had arrived on the campus near my fifteenth birthday. At the close of the school year I went home, making for the fifth time the two-thousand-mile trip between Knoxville, Tennessee and Whiterocks, Utah.
That was really the beginning of my family's relationship to this institution. In the years that have followed, some 25 of us, or more, have either graduated from or otherwise attended Maryville College. I, too, of course, graduated from Maryville College in 1974 as did my dear Sarah, the joy, light and love of my life. It is from here that our journey together began. No other institution has impacted the life of my family or my own life in a greater way than this College.
In printed materials, on its website and in other public places, the College's mission is stated to be as follows:
Maryville College prepares students for lives of citizenship and leadership as we challenge each one to search for truth, grow in wisdom, work for justice and dedicate a life of creativity and service to the peoples of the world.
OR PUT ANOTHER WAY – Maryville College is a place where students come to stretch their minds, stretch themselves and learn how to make a difference in the world.
It is a great mission. It is a mission which I will continue to proclaim to others in my role as Chairman of the Maryville College Board of Directors. For just as Maryville College changed my life, it is my hope that it will continue to mold and change the lives of young people for years to come.
Stand with me, walk with me, work with me, celebrate with me, cry with me if necessary, and laugh with me, as we move this College, an institution which each one of us loves in our own particular way, toward its 200th year. If we do that, people will indeed say in the words of scripture – "surely the Lord is in this place."
I cannot make any guarantees, nor do I know what the future holds for any of us individually, this Board collectively, or Maryville College as an institution. But what I do know is that the spirit of Maryville College burns inside me. I will do everything I can, with the help of all of you and everyone else who is a part of this institution, to insure that 200 years from now generations yet to come will stand on this hill, look across Chilhowee's lofty mountains where they pierce the southern blue and know that the "queen of all the highlands" is a place that has made, and will continue to make, a difference for all those privileged to pass this way.
I thank you for your confidence. I thank you for your support and I look forward to working with everyone here and those throughout the Maryville College Community in the years ahead.