MC students plan unique Spring Break trips

MC students plan unique Spring Break trips

March 16, 2017

While many students plan to spend Spring Break relaxing on the beach, three Maryville College groups are doing something a little different this year. 

"Bike Outer Banks" Cycling Trip

Over the course of six days, a group of 14 Maryville College students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will bike almost 400 miles from Henderson, N.C., to Surf City, N.C. The trip will be led by Tyson Murphy ’03, MC head men’s and women’s cross country coach and Mountain Challenge program manager, and will include overnight stops in Murfreesboro, N.C.; Elizabeth City, N.C.; Nags Head, N.C.; Ocracoke, N.C.; and Morehead City, N.C. Boarding and some meals will be provided by churches along the way.

MC’s Mountain Challenge staff has organized the annual Spring Break bike trip for the past 27 years. Past routes have included Rome, Ga., to Pensacola, Fla.; Clayton, Ga., to Wilmington Island, Ga.; Memphis, Tenn., to Maryville, Tenn.; and Reidsville, N.C., to Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

Alternative Spring Break in Gatlinburg

Through the College’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, a group of MC students and staff will spend the week volunteering in Gatlinburg, Tenn., to assist with disaster relief efforts related to the wildfires that devastated the area in late November.

“As soon as the wildfires occurred, we knew that we wanted this year’s ASB project to focus on providing assistance to the Gatlinburg community,” said Amy Gilliland, director of community engagement at Maryville College.

Throughout the week, the group will work on construction projects and clean-up efforts related to the wildfires. They’ll also work in a distribution center to help sort donated items.

Begun in 1996, Alternative Spring Break has become a tradition among Maryville College students. ASB and Alternative Fall Break are unique service opportunities for students, faculty and staff and are intended to provide learning experiences for students while strengthening the communities in which they volunteer.

"Let the River Run" Choir Tour

Continuing a tradition that dates back to the 1940s, the Maryville College Concert Choir is spending this year’s Spring Break on tour.

“Let the River Run” is the theme of the choir’s 2017 Spring Choir Tour, which includes performances in churches in East Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The program includes a variety of selections, including “Emerald Stream” by Seth Houston, set in a Shaker style; “Hope for Resolution,” a combination of European chant and anti-apartheid African (Zulu) song; “Amor de Mi Alma” (Love of My Soul) by Randall Stroope, which is the setting of a text by Spanish poet Garcialso de la Vega (1503-1536); “Boyo Balu” a Portuguese lullaby set by Dale Warland; selections from the “Liebeslieder Walzer” (Love Song Waltzes) by Johannes Brahms; and “Balleilakka” by A.R. Rahman, from the Tamil film “Sivaji.” 

MC soccer teams tour Europe

Members of the College’s men’s and women’s soccer team landed in Germany, on March 18 to begin an eight-day tour of Germany, Austria and Italy.

On this tour, coaches, players and their families will enjoy the sights and sounds of cities like Munich, Verona, Venice, Florence, Tuscany and Milan. The itinerary, put together by XL Sports Tours, also includes soccer — watching professional teams compete and playing and training with other international teams.

Students Explore Diversity in San Francisco

Eight students in Dr. Karen Beale’s PSY249/San Francisco: A City of Diversity course are spending March 17-26 in and around San Francisco, Calif., visiting a variety of locations that show the diversity that exists within the city. The group is visiting various sites, including Land’s End, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Muir Woods, Sausalito, Angel Island, as well as historic neighborhoods such as North Beach, the Castro, the Haight, the Mission, the Tenderloin and China Town. The students are studying the history of those neighborhoods, the evolution of their demographics and the social and art movements that originated there.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, students spent time in the classroom examining and exploring how diversity – in its many forms – can be embraced and celebrated. Before and after the trip, students will be exposed to minority groups in Tennessee and learn about the challenges they experience.

The course goals are: to understand and appreciate the rich history of immigration into the U.S. through San Francisco; to understand and appreciate the effects that individuals and groups of individuals can have on injustices to minority populations; to recognize the variety of diversity issues; to engage with new issues, people and organizations; and to examine, first hand, regional and national organizations and the work that they are doing with minority populations.

By Chloe Kennedy, Assistant Director of Communications


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 1,197.