Corn maze will shine spotlight on Anderson Hall

Sept. 8, 2012
Karen B. Eldridge, Director of Communications

A 1978 alumnus of Maryville College, Bob Schmidt supports his alma mater wherever, whenever and however he can.

Over the years, that support has come in the form of seasonal jobs for MC students, gifts to the Maryville Fund and donations of straw bales and pumpkins for the College’s annual Homecoming celebration.

This fall, Schmidt, the owner of Maple Lane Farms in Greenback, Tenn., will add “10-acre corn maze” to his list of gifts-in-kind to Maryville College.

It’s not stalks or ears of corn the College will receive, but an opportunity to tell its story to the tens of thousands of visitors who will wind their way through a maze that features the stylized Anderson Hall bell tower image, the Maryville College name and the words “Towers Above.”

“My experience at Maryville College – my education, particularly – changed the way I think about and look at situations, and it was there that I developed a creativity that serves me well every day. Plans just came together with the Anderson Hall project, the college staff and the maze to make this the year to ‘get it done.’

“I cannot give enough in return for what Maryville College gave me, but I can offer up my farm and this opportunity to ‘spread the word’ a little farther about what a special place the College is.”

Maple Lane Farms’ 14th Annual Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch will open to the public on Fri., Sept. 14. Throughout September, the maze will be open from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Fridays, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and from noon until 6 p.m. on Sundays. Hayrides begin the last weekend in September.

Starting Oct. 3, the corn maze is open from 6 until 10 p.m., Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturdays; and from noon until 6 p.m. on Sundays. Beginning Oct. 19 and continuing until the maze closes for the season on Oct. 31, the maze becomes a haunted attraction at sundown.

Tickets range in price from $8 to $10 for the regular corn maze. Children 5 and younger are admitted at no charge.

Pumpkins are available and priced by size, and people can pick their own during a hayride. (Hayrides are an additional fee.)

Maze will benefit MC, Anderson Hall

“Maryville College Days” are scheduled for Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 27. During several hours on those days, $1 of every admission to the corn maze will go toward the campaign to renovate the interior of Anderson Hall, Maryville College’s oldest and most iconic building on campus.

On Sat., Oct. 27, prospective students are invited to visit the maze and stop by the Admissions tent from 4 until 8 p.m. to talk with counselors and current students about academic programs, financial aid and unique opportunities for study.

Alumni, parents and friends of the College also are encouraged to visit the farm from 4 until 8 p.m., Oct. 27. A country fair will be set up for children, and “Farm Olympics”-type games will be conducted by students from the College.

Details are being worked out for an Oct. 27 dinner (Dutch treat) to which alumni, parents and friends will be invited. At that gathering, Schmidt will share the story of his farm and a presentation will be made on the renovation project and other initiatives on the campus.

Anderson Hall renovation needed

Currently, the College is in a fundraising campaign for the interior of Anderson Hall. Completed in 1870 and named for the College’s founder, the Rev. Isaac Anderson, Anderson Hall has long been the campus’ icon, with its bell tower that supports a flagpole and American flag.

Anderson Hall holds the most classroom space of any building on campus and is home to three very large academic divisions of the college: Education, Humanities and Languages and Literature. Because Maryville College’s general education curriculum requires all students to take courses in the Humanities and Languages and Literature, all students are in Anderson Hall during their education.

Exterior improvements, including a new roof, brick and mortar restoration and tower repairs, were completed in 2008, but in its 142-year history, the building has never seen an extensive, top-to-bottom refurbishment. The planned renovation will bring a 19th-century building up to 21st-century technological and environmental standards, as well as provide adequate classroom and office space.

The project is estimated to cost more than $4 million.

“Anderson Hall is an inspiring piece of our distinguished past, it plays an important role in our present, and we need to ensure that it will be strong and functional in our future,” said Maryville College President Dr. Tom Bogart. “I am very grateful to Bob Schmidt and Maple Lane Farms for loaning us this 10-acre billboard for the fall with which we can raise some much-needed funds for Anderson Hall while increasing our visibility as a distinctive liberal arts institution for the region.”

For more information on Maryville College events at Maple Lane Farms, contact Mary Leidig at 865.981.8097.

Visit the Maple Lane Farms website or call 865.856.3517 for more information.

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.