Recognizing Maryville College’s longstanding commitment and contributions to the community were important parts of the Bicentennial celebration.
Maryville College's Bicentennial was recognized by state and local leaders. Locally, the College was recognized with a joint mayoral proclamation that was presented by then-Alcoa Mayor Don Mull ’59 and Andy White, vice mayor of the city of Maryville, at the Bicentennial kickoff celebration held Oct. 25, 2018. Bicentennial banners were also hung on campus buildings, as well as light posts both on campus and in downtown Maryville. In April 2019, Blount Memorial Hospital presented a plaque honoring the Bicentennial, as well as MC’s partnership and important historic role with the hospital.
On the state level, the Bicentennial was recognized and celebrated in Tennessee’s House of Representatives during the Feb. 25, 2019 session of the 111th General Assembly. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a gubernatorial proclamation recognizing the College’s milestone and proclaiming the year 2019 as “Maryville College Bicentennial Year in Tennessee.” Lee and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander also sent congratulatory video messages that were played during the Bicentennial Celebration on Oct. 19, 2019.
The College’s story was told through several community presentations and events. Dr. Aaron Astor, MC associate professor of history; Martha Hess ’67, archives volunteer and former MC registrar; and MC vocal music education major Lindsey Lively ’20 gave presentations at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, the East Tennessee History Center, and the Blount County Public Library. Maryville College history faculty represented the College at the History Fair in downtown Knoxville, and the College was included in the Historic College Hill Homes Tour, which included homes with strong connections to the 200-year-old institution.
In celebration of the Bicentennial and the ongoing relationship with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Synod of Living Waters and the Presbytery of East Tennessee (PET), covenant renewal ceremonies were held on campus with the Presbytery on Nov. 12 at the PET’s 141st stated meeting and with the Synod of Living Waters during the February 2019 meeting of the MC Board of Directors. A Bicentennial worship service was held in August, which included students and community members, as well as members of local churches and faith communities. During the 2018-19 academic year, the College’s Bicentennial-themed worship series reflected on “The Roads We’ve Traveled” in 2018-19, and the 2019-20 series, "The Road Ahead," is helping the campus look forward from the College’s Bicentennial year and into the future.
Several projects were a nod to MC’s Fit. Green. Happy.® initiative. A group of MC cyclists spent Spring Break riding more than 300 miles from Rockbridge County, Va., to Knox County, Tenn. – the same route taken 219 years ago by the family of MC founder Rev. Isaac Anderson. The Bicentennial Bike Trip ended at Washington Presbyterian Church in Corryton, Tenn., where Isaac Anderson was ordained as a minister in 1802.
MC Professor of Biology Dr. Drew Crain created “Maryville College History Hikes,” a downloadable pamphlet that features five Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) trails with MC ties: Schoolhouse Gap, Bote Mountain, Gregory Bald, Spruce Flats Falls and Thunderhead Mountain. Each hike description includes trail information (including alternate hike options) and brief explanations of the trail’s connection to MC.
In honor of the Bicentennial, Maryville College was asked to serve as grand marshal for the Blount County Jaycees Christmas Parade on Dec. 7, and MC President Tom Bogart and wife Mary served as representatives.