Three faculty members announce retirements

Three faculty members announce retirements

November 11, 2011
Contact: Karen B. Eldridge, Director of Communications

Three longtime Maryville College faculty members have announced that they will retire at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year.

Dr. Terry Bunde, Dr. John Nichols and Dr. Larry Smithee have collectively served the College nearly 100 years.

“These faculty members have not only prepared thousands of former students for graduate school and professions, they have inspired and transformed lives that make a difference in the world,” said Interim Vice President and Dean of the College Dr. Barbara Wells. “Words cannot express our appreciation for what they have meant to students, fellow faculty members and the institution over the past several decades.”

Wells said each will be missed.

“While we hate to see them prepare for their final classes and advise their last students, we wish them nothing but the best in their well-deserved retirements,” she added.

Dr. Terry Bunde, professor of chemistry, joined the Maryville College faculty in 1977. A native of Florida, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rollins College, where he earned his bachelor of science degree. His doctoral degree in biochemistry was earned at the University of Florida, and he completed a Welch Postdoctoral Fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine before arriving on the MC campus.

Bunde is a three-time winner of the College’s Outstanding Teacher Award and in 1989, he was the first MC faculty member and the first from a private, liberal arts college to receive the Tennessee Professor of the Year Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

In 1990, Bunde earned both the Tennessee Outstanding Achievement Award and the University of Kentucky’s Outstanding Teacher in Appalachia Award.

He chaired the College’s Natural Sciences Division from 2001 until 2005 and has served on numerous committees at the College.

An active scholar throughout his 35 years at the College, Bunde has been the recipient of numerous grants. He has conducted research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and been active in the American Chemical Society, chairing the ACS’s East Tennessee Chapter in 2009.

After graduating from Maryville College in 1965, Dr. John Nichols, professor of mathematics, enrolled at the University of Tennessee, earning master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics in 1967 and 1972. He began teaching at his alma mater in 1967 and has taught continuously except for a two-year absence when he studied under the National Teaching Fellows Program.

With nearly 44 years of service at Maryville College, he is the most senior member of the faculty.

In addition to chairing the College’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division from 1999 until 2010, Nichols served as the coordinator of academic computing and the College’s dual-degree in engineering.

He earned numerous grants for research and teaching, including two Dwight D. Eisenhower grants to organize Woodrow Wilson Institutes for professional development of high school math teachers. He participated in three National Science Foundation-funded institutes in mathematics.

In the late 1990s, Nichols was a member of the team of writers for the $1.7 million U.S. Department of Education (Title III) grant that the College received for instructional technology. He has also conducted research and prepared reports regarding faculty compensation, which have been instrumental in improving salaries on the campus.

For several years, he coordinated the Section E-6 testing for the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association’s annual state-wide high-school math contest, which has been held at Maryville College since 1959.

Dr. Larry Smithee, associate professor of music, came to the College in 1991 after serving as the director of bands at the University of Southern Colorado. He also taught for six years in a public secondary school.

An accomplished jazz trumpet musician, Smithee earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Arkansas State University. His doctorate in education was earned from Washington University in St. Louis.

He was the music arranger for the U.S. Air Force Band in the early 1970s and later toured as a musician, performing with such artists as Ray Charles and Mel Torme.

Smithee led the College’s Jazz Band early in his tenure at the College, and founded the Maryville College-Community Concert Band in 1991. What began as a small group of mostly high school marching band veterans has grown into an ensemble of more than 60 musicians that performs two concerts per year.

Smithee also was instrumental in creating and directing the East Tennessee Jazz Orchestra. He regularly has given jazz recitals both on campus and in the region and has performed with numerous jazz ensembles.

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 1,197.