Members of MC's Bicentennial Steering Committee named

Members of College’s Bicentennial Steering Committee named

May 5, 2017

Maryville College will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019, and to guide the special events and initiatives, a steering committee has been formed, Maryville College President Dr. Tom Bogart announced today.

“The bicentennial truly is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we want to make certain that we throw a celebration befitting this venerable institution,” the president wrote in memo to faculty, staff, students and Board members. “I am frequently asked about bicentennial planning, so I know excitement for this historic milestone is building among our constituents both on and off campus.”

Dr. Gerald Gibson, president emeritus, and Wayne Kramer ’74, former chairman of the College’s Board of Directors, will serve as co-chairs, Bogart said. Gibson, who led the College from 1993 until 2010, was president during the institution’s 175th anniversary celebrations. Kramer is a member of a family with deep Maryville College roots. His grandfather, Dr. Ralph W. Lloyd, was a 1915 alumnus and served as president from 1930 until 1961. Lloyd wrote Maryville College: A History of 150 Years in time for the College’s Sesquicentennial in 1969.

“Both Gerald and Wayne know and love the history of Maryville College, and I have no doubt that they will lead with wisdom and creativity, just as they did in their other official capacities with the College,” Bogart said. “I am pleased and grateful for their willingness to help guide the committee that will plan such a memorable year.”

Other members of the steering committee include Dr. Carl Gombert, professor of art; Dr. Drew Crain, professor of biology; Cole Piper ’68, executive-in-residence for the University of Tennessee’s Retail and Consumer Sciences department; Suzy Booker, vice president for institutional advancement; Laura Case, assistant to the president; the Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, campus minister; and Tom Taylor ‘70, mayor of the city of Maryville.

Seven members of the steering committee also will chair subcommittees that will be tasked with specific projects and responsibilities.

Gombert will chair the subcommittee charged with historical/legacy projects and storytelling. Crain’s subcommittee will focus on academic and co-curricular initiatives. Piper’s subcommittee will lead promotion and communication efforts. Booker will chair a subcommittee focused on fundraising and strategic initiatives, and Case’s subcommittee will lend expertise in event planning. McKee and Taylor will co-chair a subcommittee charged with involving churches and the external community in bicentennial celebrations.

Celebration will be year-long

Bogart said the College will observe the bicentennial from January 2019 until December 2019, straddling two academic years. The biggest celebrations are expected for Homecoming 2019, which is already slated for the weekend of Oct. 18-20.

“The Saturday of Homecoming 2019 – Oct. 19 – is the actual founding date of the College,” Bogart said. “We are working to try and have all of our sports teams play at home that Saturday. We want the entire Maryville College community to come together and celebrate that weekend.”

College began as seminary

The Synod of Tennessee established the “Southern and Western Theological Seminary” in 1819, persuaded by the Rev. Isaac Anderson, pastor of Maryville’s New Providence Presbyterian Church, who saw a great need for trained ministers and churches in the new frontier. Anderson was the seminary’s only teacher and officer for six years. Initially located on land in present-day downtown Maryville, the institution was chartered “Maryville College” by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1842 and moved to its present location in 1867.

Today, the College serves approximately 1,200 undergraduates and is a nationally ranked institution known for successfully joining the liberal arts with professional preparation.


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.