College kicks off Bicentennial celebration

Maryville College kicks off Bicentennial celebration

Oct. 26, 2018

Maryville College’s Bicentennial is officially underway.

On Thursday night, officials kicked off the milestone year – which will extend into December 2019 – during the College’s annual Founder’s Day Celebration held in the William Baxter Lee III Grand Foyer of the Clayton Center for the Arts. Approximately 280 people, many of whom were alumni and travelled to Maryville for the College’s Homecoming Weekend, attended.

The kickoff celebration included dinner; recognition of donors; announcements of upcoming events, celebrations and special publications; a video presentation; and a joint mayoral proclamation presented by Alcoa Mayor and alumnus Don Mull ’59 and Andy White, vice mayor of the city of Maryville. The proclamation, commending Maryville College “on 200 years of service to the local communities” and acknowledging “the impacts that reach far beyond its home,” also designated Oct. 25, 2018 as “Maryville College Day” in the jurisdictions of Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County.

Off Kilter, a vocal ensemble of the College, performed three selections, including the “On Highlanders” fight song, which drew attendees to their feet.

Initially opened as the Southern and Western Theological Seminary in 1819, the College was the dream of Isaac Anderson, a circuit-riding Presbyterian minister who convinced the Synod of Tennessee of the area’s need for educated ministers and leaders. It was chartered “Maryville College” by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1842 and moved to its present location in 1867.

“Tonight, we officially kick off our Bicentennial celebration. But this is just the beginning of our commemoration of this milestone for the College,” said Dr. Tom Bogart, president of the College, to banquet attendees. “Over the next 14 months, we will take every opportunity to celebrate both here on campus and in the larger community.”

Bogart encouraged people to visit frequently the College’s Bicentennial webpages for a list of events and celebrations.

Alumnus Wayne Kramer ’74 and President Emeritus Dr. Gerald W. Gibson, Bicentennial Steering Committee co-chairs, helped emcee the event.

Special books on sale

Echoes from the Hilltop book coverTwo books are available for sale in time for the College’s bicentennial.

“Echoes from the Hilltop,” a book by alumna Paula Cox Bowers ’58, tells the story of Margaret Eliza Henry, the College’s first scholarship secretary. From 1903 until her untimely death in 1916, Henry traveled throughout the Northeast, raising money for scholarships for young people in the Southern Appalachians.

The book includes passages of letters written from and to Henry during her 13-year tenure. Bowers discovered the story of Henry in 2006, when she was part of a group of volunteers who began reading and organizing the letters during the College’s annual Kin Takahashi Week.

“Echoes from the Hilltop” is available at and the campus bookstore.


Maryville College Bicentennial Book“Maryville College: Noble, Grand & True for Two Centuries,” a large-format, full-color hardcover book produced by Grandin Hood Publishers, will be published in Spring but orders are being taken now.

The 160-page book will tell the story of people and events that have shaped Maryville College for 200 years and include original images taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Robin Hood, as well as photos from the College’s archives.

Orders can be placed online. Discounted pricing is available for orders placed before Jan. 1, 2019.

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.”