Two recognized with 2019 Alumni Awards

Two recognized with 2019 Alumni Awards

Oct. 24, 2019

Maryville College honored two alumni during the 2019 Alumni Awards Ceremony held Oct. 18 in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall.

The College’s Alumni Citation was presented to Arthur Masker ’69. The Alumni Citation is awarded to any alumnus/a of Maryville College who has demonstrated outstanding leadership or initiative service in his/her community, church or chosen profession.

Matthew Murrill ’08 was presented the Kin Takahashi Award for Young Alumni, which is given to an alumnus/a who has, within 20 years of his/her graduation from Maryville College, lived a life characteristic of College legend Kin Takahashi, who, in his 36 years of living, worked tirelessly for the betterment of his alma mater, his church and his society.

A committee met in early 2019 to review nominations and recommend winners to the College’s president and Board of Directors.

Masker is longtime advocate for children, youth and families

At Maryville College, Arthur Masker ’69 majored in psychology and spent four years as a member of the MC Concert Choir, where he met fellow choir member Martha Frazier Masker ’67 (now his wife of 50 years). He earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and completed additional post-graduate work in administration and educational supervision.

In 1973, Art began a 40-year career with Holston United Methodist Home for Children, which provides residential care, foster care and adoptions, and other family services in multiple locations in Southeast Virginia and East Tennessee. He started as a case manager and in 1999, he was named president and CEO – a position he held until his retirement in 2013. Under his leadership, the size and scope of the agency's services more than doubled, and the agency obtained its first national accreditation.

Throughout his career, Art served a variety of civic and professional organizations, and he received a number of honors and awards recognizing his leadership and advocacy activities for children, youth and their families. For 56 years, he has been active in the Boy Scouts of America, serving in numerous leadership capacities. Art enjoys hiking, nature photography and restoring an 1842 log cabin.

Art and Marty live in Greeneville, Tenn., and are blessed with three daughters, all married, and five grandchildren.

Fulbright Fellow recognized for work in health and human rights

Matthew Murrill ’08 completed his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Maryville College, then moved to Kolkata, India, as a Fulbright-Nehru fellow to research the sources and health effects of groundwater arsenic contamination in Eastern India with the School of Environmental Studies - Jadavpur University. He then worked with Calcutta Kids, a non-governmental organization, to help establish a childhood diarrhea treatment program aimed at alleviating the burden of undernutrition in a peri-urban community north of Kolkata.

Matt recently completed his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he became interested in infectious disease, pulmonology and implementation science. His dissertation research focused on the challenges of individuals undergoing treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis in India. During this process, he received support through the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Medical Scholar (2016) and the UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellows (2017-18) Programs.

Matt has returned to Maryville to talk to the MC community about his research and has Skyped with students who are interested in his work. In 2010, he was a guest lecturer for the College’s Community Conversations Series, as well as the Science Literacy Seminar Series, which he co-founded as a student.

He and wife Harsimer live in San Francisco, Calif., where Matt is completing his residency in internal medicine at the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF).


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.”