Thousands participate in hashtag mosaic for Bicentennial

Thousands participate in hashtag mosaic for Bicentennial

Nov. 6, 2019

For the historic Bicentennial celebration, Maryville College arranged for a special commemorative piece of artwork that thousands of alumni and friends could be a part of.

Partnering with a New York-based company specializing in event technology, the College planned for an 8-by-5-foot “hashtag mosaic” that could be built, on-site, the Saturday of Homecoming but could be contributed to from anywhere by taking photos and posting them to Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #MC200Years and #HometoHowee.

Software and equipment on site produced both a small sticker of the photo for inclusion on the mosaic in a specific location and the same photo printed with the College’s Bicentennial logo and date of the event as a small take-away.

“This mosaic was appealing for several reasons but the most compelling were the ability to involve people in the Bicentennial who couldn’t make it to campus for our celebratory weekend and the ability to have a piece of artwork that could be displayed and enjoyed for years and years,” said Karen Beaty Eldridge ’94, executive director for marketing and communications. “We also liked the symbolism of it – hundreds of people coming together to form the ‘big picture’ of Maryville College.”

Specifically, the “big picture” created was of Anderson Hall in spring.

Eldridge said the College’s hashtag mosaic generated over 410,000 impressions from social followers, fans and guests. More than 850 posts about the mosaic received nearly 6,000 likes and 275 comments.

“This activity pushed the name of Maryville College and news of our Bicentennial far and wide – beyond just those who already know us,” Eldridge said. “And of course, we heard a lot of positive comments from alumni, parents and friends who stopped by the mosaic on that Saturday. Everyone seemed to think it was pretty cool.”

Late in the afternoon on Oct. 19, the mosaic was completed and transported to the Clayton Center for the Arts, where it was unveiled as a part of the Bicentennial Celebration.

College administrators are in discussions now about where it will be displayed for years to come.

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.”