MC president surprises wife with named scholarship

MC president surprises wife with named scholarship

June 21, 2017


Dr. Tom Bogart gave silver in recognition of his 25th wedding anniversary, but it wasn’t in the form of jewelry or an engraved keepsake.

Bogart, president of Maryville College, gave money to establish the Mary Madora Denney Bogart Endowed Scholarship, a financial award to assist non-traditional students enrolled at MC.

He announced the establishment of the scholarship June 21 at the conclusion of the annual Ladies Luncheon held at the Chilhowee Club. Mary Bogart was host of the luncheon and helped plan the program but was unaware of her husband’s special announcement. Also in attendance was the couple’s 20-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

“[Mary] is hard to surprise,” he told the crowd of 70. “I think it worked.”

Prior to Bogart’s announcement, the luncheon program focused on the multiple and distinctive on-campus opportunities students have to develop skills and experiences for the workforce. Speakers included Christy McDonald, director of the College’s Career Center; Blake Smith, general manager of the Clayton Center for the Arts (CCA); and Caroline Stuart ’17, a recent graduate who was hired as a full-time event coordinator in the CCA following completion of an internship there.

“In reflecting on my remarks, the words that come to mind are ‘inspiration’ and ‘support,’” the president said, explaining that students like Stuart are great examples of what inspired young people can accomplish when they are supported in their plans for the future.

“But there is not just one path to college,” Bogart continued, citing Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect initiatives aimed at helping more people start a post-secondary education (mostly through community colleges) and finish it.

“I’m passionate about this topic because I’m married to someone who took the scenic route,” Bogart told attendees. “After high school, Mary went to a liberal arts college but didn’t stay. She got a job as a bank teller and later started taking classes at a community college.”

As a non-traditional student, Mary graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, in 1991. She completed a master’s degree in English/creative writing from Cleveland State University in 2005.

“Next month, Mary and I will celebrate a significant wedding anniversary – 25 years,” Bogart explained to luncheon attendees. “So for 25 years, I’ve had the pleasure of personal inspiration and support from her.

“In thinking about and recognizing her influence on me, coupled with the fact that most financial aid is targeted to students who are coming out of high school, I decided to give money to create an endowed scholarship at Maryville College that is targeted to non-traditional students with a preference for transfer students from community colleges,” he said. “It will be called the Mary Madora Denney Bogart Endowed Scholarship.”

The first recipient of the scholarship will be named this fall.  The award is renewable in subsequent years of enrollment.

Mary Bogart said she was surprised by the gift and felt very honored.

“I’m looking forward to seeing more students enjoy the opportunities Maryville has to offer,” she said. “There’s so much.”

Dr. Mary Kay Sullivan, chair of the College’s Board of Directors, called the endowed scholarship both “inspired” and “inspiring.”

“How many of us give gifts that keep providing benefits to others over the years?” she asked. “I and members of the Maryville College Board of Directors deeply appreciate our president’s personal contribution to the College. Income from the Mary Madora Denney Bogart Endowed Scholarship will be a tremendous help to non-traditional and transfer students who will attend Maryville College for years to come.”

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 2017 semester is 1,181.