Declaration of the Academic Year

Opening Convocation -- Fall 2013

Dr. Barbara Wells, Vice President & Dean of the College

The Declaration of the Academic Year is the formal announcement that the new academic year has begun. When this occurs, our practice is that the bell in the tower of Anderson Hall will toll. This bell marks other important events in the life of the College such as Homecoming and Commencement.

Continuing students know, and first year students will learn, that Anderson Hall is our largest and oldest building in continuous use on campus. This year Anderson Hall is a construction site. It was built in 1870. It has been repaired and refurbished, but this is its first complete renovation. So this is an unusual start of the academic year because we begin without Anderson Hall as an academic building.

We say Anderson Hall is our iconic building because it represents the essential spirit of this place. It was named after Rev. Isaac Anderson, who founded the college in 1819. Nearly 200 years later, we continue to be inspired by this man who recognized the need for education for the people of East Tennessee when it was the Southwestern frontier of the country, and who advocated for the abolition of slavery and supported rights for the Cherokees. It is those sorts of commitments to the common good that animate the Maryville College vision, and have been passed on to many generations of students in Anderson Hall.

The good news for all of us who care about the college and its history is that despite the construction, the bell in Anderson Hall will still ring out for significant events at the College this year, including – in a few moments – ringing in the beginning of the academic year.