MC moves instruction online amid outbreak

In response to COVID-19, MC moves instruction online, announces reduction in operations

March 18, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Maryville College has announced that classroom instruction will be replaced by distance learning for the remainder of the 2020 Spring semester.

Last week, the College announced that it was extending Spring Break one week – to March 27 – to allow for more time to assess the outbreak and make decisions. Distance learning begins March 30.

“Following both President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control regarding community mitigation, we have decided to move all classroom instruction to distance-learning formats – in almost all cases, specifically through online instruction – through the end of the semester,” stated Dr. Tom Bogart, Maryville College president, in a Wednesday afternoon memo to the College’s faculty, staff and students. “Students should be regularly checking their Maryville College email accounts for further directions from the Academic Dean’s Office and their professors.”

Bogart also shared that the end date of classes was being pushed to April 29, with exams rescheduled for May 1-6. The annual baccalaureate service and commencement exercises, originally scheduled for May 2, are now “postponed to a later date,” the memo read. Information will be shared as it becomes available.

Campus reduces operations

Residence halls closed for Spring Break on March 16. With the exception of those who were given approval to stay over the break, students will not be allowed to reside on campus through the remainder of the Spring semester. Citing a desire to ensure social distancing and to prevent the introduction of the COVID-19 disease on campus, Bogart announced that students would not be able to return to halls for their belongings until “doing so is safe for our community.”

He also announced that campus facilities would be closed to the public starting March 19 and continuing through “at least” April 6.

Staff members who perform essential duties such as safety and security, housekeeping, maintenance and food service will continue to report to campus for work as long as they are healthy and able to do so,” the memo read. All other employees are encouraged to work from home.

The decision to cancel all campus events “through May 31 or until such time as it is recommended to continue with public gatherings” was also announced in the memo.

“Spring is usually a very busy and exciting time on the Maryville College campus, so the imminent stillness and quiet will not only be strange, it will be incredibly painful,” Bogart concluded. “Please know that I and others are heartbroken that students, especially graduating seniors, are experiencing such tremendous loss alongside much fear and uncertainty for the future. I believe that working together and supporting each other, we will emerge from this crisis a stronger community and an institution more mission-focused than ever before.”

The College has created a webpage,, to keep the campus and wider community informed of decisions made and actions taken in response to COVID-19.

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.”