Mountain Challenge's 25th-year anniversary celebrated April 26

April 23, 2013
Contact: Karen Eldridge, Director of Communications

Mountain Challenge will conclude its yearlong 25th anniversary celebration with a reception scheduled for Fri., April 26, when two important announcements will be made regarding the program and its headquarters, Crawford House.

“A Silver Anniversary Celebration” will start at 4 p.m. with music at Crawford House. The program begins at 4:30 p.m.

Founded in 1987 on the Maryville College campus by alumnus Bruce Guillaume ’76, the Mountain Challenge program strives to “provide high-quality, safe outdoor experiences designed to change the world for the better, one person at a time.”

Partnering with Mountain Challenge 25 years ago, Maryville College was among the first colleges and universities in the United States to support a curriculum that takes all of its students outside.

“Mountain Challenge is one of the 20 oldest outdoor programs in the country, and possibly the oldest program in the South,” Guillaume explained.

Incorporated into the College’s Orientation course for more than two decades, Mountain Challenge helps new students form friendships and support groups quickly while encouraging them to step outside their comfort zones and keep the “big picture” in perspective. Developing healthy habits for the college years is also stressed.

While the program continues to serve students on campus, Mountain Challenge as a limited liability company (LLC) serves corporate clients. Customizing experiences based on the needs of individual businesses and corporations, Guillaume and his staff use a ropes course, a 55-foot Alpine Tower and other outdoor activities to teach employees best practices in teamwork, communication and problem-solving.

Leading corporate training experiences that are “180 degrees from the norm,” Mountain Challenge has taken home several awards, including the Tennessee Quality Award, which recognizes businesses and organizations for improved productivity and standards of excellence through quality management practices.

In 2011-2012, Mountain Challenge saw 7,300 people go through its program.

Guillaume, who still directs Mountain Challenge, is scheduled to speak at the April 26 event, along with Cole Piper ‘68, Mountain Challenge director of development; Dr. Mark O’Gorman, associate professor of political science and coordinator of the College’s environmental studies program; and current student and Mountain Challenge Fellow Lindsey O’Neal ’13.

Wayne Kramer ’74, chairman of Maryville College’s Board of Directors, is expected to read a proclamation from the College’s governing body.

The celebration is free and open to the public.

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.