‘Change and Constancy' are topics of Aug. 29 Convocation ceremony at MC

August 7, 2002

"Change and Constancy" is the title of the address Maryville College President Dr. Gerald W. Gibson will deliver to new and returning students, faculty and staff during the College's Convocation ceremony scheduled for Aug. 29 in Wilson Chapel.

The ceremony, which marks the opening of the 184th academic year of the College, begins at 11:15 a.m., and is open to the public.

Over the last several years, Gibson's Convocation addresses and accompanying Powerpoint presentations have incorporated stories, facts and photos from the College's history. This year, he is expected to talk about the recent physical changes that the campus has experienced (as a result of the College's Campus Beautification and Improvement Plan), comparing the Maryville College of 2002 to the Maryville College of 1902.

Adding that not all change is progress, Gibson is expected to point out the things that Maryville College has, in its 184-year-old history, decided to hold onto: the College's identity as a liberal arts college and as a college of the church, the dedication of faculty and staff, and the College's strong sense of community.

Referring to the MC Window of Opportunity Plan, a strategic plan designed to strengthen the College by 2007, Gibson said people should expect to see more change in the next five years.

He said it is the recent and impending changes that inspired him to choose this "change and constancy" topic for the 2002 Convocation ceremony.

"There will undoubtedly be surprises along the way - changes we neither ask for nor welcome, as there have been throughout Maryville's history," the president said. "But the brightness of the dream and the soundness of our plans and the energetic resolve of our actions will take us to a Maryville College that is the strongest, most effective, most respected in history."

The Class of 2003, members of the Board of Directors, faculty and staff members and platform speakers will march in procession. Piper Tom Gordon will lead. Dr. Terry Simpson, associate professor of secondary education and recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award for 2001-2002, will be the mace bearer.

Ashley Burell, an organist with First Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, will perform the prelude.

Laura Robertson, a member of the Class of 2003 and a Church and College Scholar, will give the prayer of invocation. Dr. Margaret Cowan, who holds the Ralph W. Beeson Chair in Religion and is chairperson of the faculty, will welcome attendees to the event. The College's Statement of Purpose will be read by Josh Collins, Student Government president and member of the Class of 2004.

"Zion's Walls" an anthem by Aaron Copland, will be performed by the Maryville College Concert Choir under the direction of Choral Conductor Stacey Wilner.

Frank Twum-Barimah, a Bonner Scholar and member of the Class of 2004, will give the scripture reading from Isaiah 40:6-8. Prayers for the College will be offered by the Rev. Anne D. McKee, campus minister.

Dr. Robert Naylor, interim vice president and dean of the College, will give the declaration of the academic year, and following the singing of the Alma Mater, McKee will conclude with the benediction.

Classes begin Aug. 28.

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 offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.