Text: Declaration of the Academic Year

Opening Convocation -- Fall 2012

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.

In doing this, I would like to quote Samuel Tyndale Wilson, President of the College from 1901 to 1930, who said, about 100 years ago:

"Maryville College may properly be defined as a study in how to help people get a college education who otherwise could not secure it. Its historic mission has been to carry an education to those that are hungry for it, but that are in danger of not being given it by others. In its early days it was called “the poor man’s college”; and it has never reached the day when it was not especially proud of its service to the humble. It has ever rejoiced in helping those whose chief riches have consisted in their youthful ambitions and their future possibilities."

In our time, we continue to recognize what a difference a college education makes in the lives of ordinary people like most of us. We believe in the transformative power of education. We have experienced it in our own lives and we see it again and again in the lives of our students. We do our best to make it accessible to students with a variety of interests, backgrounds, beliefs, and nationalities. We may today use different words than Dr. Wilson, but we affirm the same ideals.

Let us all, as faculty, staff, and students commit anew to do our very best as we grow in wisdom and search for truth in the year before us. And now, it is my privilege to announce that the 2012-2013 academic year at Maryville College has begun.


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 2013 semester is 1,168.