Convocation scheduled for Aug. 23

“Growing by Disagreeing” is theme for 2018 Convocation

Aug. 16, 2018

“Growing by Disagreeing” is the title of the address that Maryville College President Tom Bogart will deliver to new and returning students, faculty and staff during the College’s 2018 Convocation ceremony, which is scheduled for Thurs., Aug. 23.

The ceremony, which marks the opening of the 2018-19 academic year, begins at 11:15 a.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre and is open to the public.

During his ninth Convocation as president of Maryville College, Bogart will use Romans 14:1-13 to illustrate his chosen topic.

In his address, Bogart is expected to encourage the campus community to approach diversity of belief in an inclusive and respectful way. He will draw examples from the College’s history.

“… none of us knows everything, and none of us is right all the time,” Bogart said. “We grow by listening to those who have grasped something that we haven’t. Sometimes that is someone who disagrees with a belief that we have, and who might even persuade us that we have been wrong. That is a tenet simply stated, but with tremendous implications.”

Several take part in the ceremony

The class of 2019, members of the Board of Directors, faculty and staff members and platform speakers will march in procession. Dr. Jenifer Greene, professor of management and chair of the College's Social Sciences Division, will be the macebearer, and Dr. Jerilyn Swann, professor of biology and chair of the faculty, will welcome attendees to the ceremony.

J. Ashley Burell, adjunct instructor in organ and organist/choirmaster at St. James Episcopal Church in Knoxville, will perform the prelude and recessional.

Mindy Reagan ’19, a Dean’s Scholar and MC Chapel Fellow, will offer the prayer of invocation. The College’s Statement of Purpose will be read by Beau Branton ’19, president of the Student Government Association.

“I Will Sing,” by Rosephayne Powell, will be performed by the Maryville College Concert Choir under the direction of Stacey Wilner, director of choral activities and lecturer in music.

The scripture reading will be read by Kathryn Liggett ’19, an Isaac Anderson and Presidential Scholar. The Rev. Dr. Anne D. McKee, campus minister, will offer prayers for the College.

Dr. Dan Klingensmith, interim vice president and dean of the College, will give the declaration of the academic year and, following the singing of the Alma Mater, McKee will conclude with the benediction.

Classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 22.


Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”