June 13, 2002
Recognizing DENSO's generous support of Maryville College and the wider East Tennessee community, Maryville College President Dr. Gerald W. Gibson presented the manufacturing corporation with the College's Presidential Citation during a dinner celebration at Ruby Tuesday Lodge June 12.
"With deep gratitude and on behalf of the many fine organizations in our community that have benefited from your generosity and your good corporate citizenship, I am proud to present the Maryville College Presidential Citation to DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc." Gibson said in giving the award to DENSO President Neal Ozeki.
Established in 2001, the Maryville College Presidential Citation recognizes those individuals and organizations that have realized an outstanding accomplishment, demonstrated community leadership and/or made an exceptional impact on the College.
"DENSO has served this community and this College with distinction," Gibson said. "Saying 'thank you' can be difficult because the words do not do justice in showing our gratitude," he said.
More than 40 people were in attendance at the June 12 dinner celebration, including representatives of dozens of non-profit organizations and institutions that DENSO has supported in the years since its establishment in Blount County in 1988. In his presentation of the award, Gibson enumerated those organizations, and gave special thanks for the more than $400,000 DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. has donated to the College since 1989.
"For the past seven years, the College has been proud to serve the educational needs of our community through the DENSO Learning Center," Gibson said, "but the relationship between DENSO and the College goes back further and is more involved than that."
Mentioning DENSO's support of the Maryville-Alcoa College-Community Orchestra (MACCO), the East Tennessee Japanese School and the Public School English as a Second Language (PSESL) program, Gibson explained how, together, the College and the corporation are partnering for the benefit of the community.
Stated Ozeki: "Maryville College has always been a good friend and we share the same values about the importance of education to the life of East Tennessee. Learning is the key to a future full of promise. It is important for DENSO to contribute to the community.
"A strong community is good for everyone who lives in Blount County," he added. "We are all creating value together for this community."
Prior to the celebration dinner, DENSO executives were given a tour of the Maryville College campus, which included stops in Fayerweather Hall and Bartlett Hall, where Gibson told the group about the College's historic ties to Japan through students like Kin Takahashi, a 1890s-era student who started the first football team, organized self-help projects for financially strapped students and spearheaded the building of Bartlett Hall.
Following the tour, the group was briefed on the past accomplishments and future plans for the DENSO Learning Center, which provides academic services, disabled student services and adult student services for Maryville College students. The learning center also coordinates special programs for the community, including academic enrichment opportunities for K-12 students.
DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc., is a leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components for the world's major car makers. Established in Maryville in 1988, the company has more than 2,800 associates between locations in Maryville and Athens. DENSO is part of an international network with North American headquarters in Southfield, Michigan. The parent company, DENSO Corporation, of Kariya, Japan, employs more than 87,000 people in 30 countries.
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 its academic rigor and its focus on the liberal arts, Maryville is where students come to stretch their minds, stretch themselves and learn how to make a difference in the world. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester was 1,168.