MC will recognize three with alumni awards

Oct. 15, 2012
Karen B. Eldridge, Director of Communications

Maryville College will honor three alumni during the National Alumni Association’s annual meeting and reception held Oct. 20 in the Alumni Gymnasium on campus.

The event concludes the College’s Homecoming festivities.

The College’s Alumni Citation will be presented to the Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Jones, who currently serves as Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)’s Ambassador at Large, and Mr. Alvin C. Baker, general manager of National School Products (NSP) and a longtime volunteer for the College’s Alumni Association.

Mrs. Christie Latimer Knapper, marketing coordinator for Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain P.C., will receive the Kin Takahashi Award for Young Alumni during the reception.

Jones elevated Habitat for Humanity in D.C.

Jones, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., came to MC in 1948 and graduated in 1952 with a major in sociology and minor in physical education.

He went on to Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) and earned a master of divinity degree, a master of theology degree and a doctor of divinity degree from the seminary over a span of 25 years.

From 1955 until 1991, his ministry included service as a pastor, professor, seminary administrator and denominational staff person. In 1991, he accepted a position as vice president and managing director of HFHI’s Washington, D.C. office. He oversaw the day-to-day operations of the office until 2005, working to spread the message of decent housing for all and mobilizing influential people and groups that could do something about the crisis.

As Ambassador at Large for HFHI and a member of HFHI’s Senior Leadership Team, he represents the nonprofit and its CEO to outside groups. He also leads the HFHI Interfaith Exploration.

Jones and his family live in Chevy Chase, Md.

Baker leads at work, on MC campus

Baker spent part of his childhood in Maryville before moving with his family to Roane County in 1966. He graduated from Harriman High School in 1968 and enrolled at MC that fall.

He majored in history and graduated in 1972, accepting a job with the Office Supply House in Alcoa. In 1976, he went to work for John Nowell, owner of the Potpourri Gift Shop in downtown Maryville. With Baker’s help, Nowell transitioned the gift shop to NSP.

Today, Baker manages NSP’s 40,000 square feet of retail and warehouse space and oversees accounts with some of the largest school districts in the country, including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

Since his graduation, Baker, a Maryville resident, has been an involved and generous alumnus. He has held leadership positions in the Blount County Alumni Association and the National Alumni Association and been a dedicated volunteer at numerous college functions.

Knapper active in non-profit

A native of North Carolina, Knapper enrolled at MC in 2000. She majored in child development and minored in sociology and business and organization management. Active in various campus and community organizations, she was named winner of the College’s Outstanding Senior Award in 2004.

Knapper, who now lives in Knoxville, worked for ImagePoint and the American Heart Association before joining the Knoxville staff of Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain (LBMC), P.C., in 2006. As marketing coordinator, she works closely with professionals on proposals and various marketing events and communications such as newsletters and collateral material.

She coordinates and promotes LBMC’s involvement with organizations and non-profits such as the Knoxville Chamber, United Way and March of Dimes.

Personally, Knapper is involved in various community initiatives, including Imagination Library and Introduction Knoxville. She and husband Wade Knapper (a 2005 MC alumnus) have also aided fundraising efforts for the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

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.