MC announces plans to honor Tom and Mary Bogart

MC announces plans to honor Tom and Mary Bogart

June 1, 2020

Maryville College will honor its outgoing president, Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart, and First Lady Mary Bogart during the week of June 22-26.

Bogart, who is only the 11th person to lead the College in its 200 years, announced last July that the 2019-2020 academic year would be his last. He has spent a decade at the College and is credited with improving the school’s finances, curricular offerings, buildings and grounds, and relationships with external partners. He steered the College through its yearlong bicentennial celebration in 2019.

Bogart’s last official day as president is June 30.

“Certainly, the COVID-19 outbreak has changed how we initially planned to honor the Bogarts, but it hasn’t changed our desire to express appreciation for what they have accomplished at Maryville College and wish them well in their future endeavors,” said Dr. Mary Kay Sullivan, faculty emerita and chairperson of the College’s Board of Directors. “However, we believe some of the changes may actually broaden the ability of our constituents to participate in this historic farewell.”

Initiatives planned to honor the Bogarts include a collection of cards and letters from well-wishers and a retrospective of the Bogart tenure shared on social media the week of June 22.

Cards and letters should be mailed to:  Maryville College, Office of the President, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., Maryville, TN 37804, and sent to the attention of Suzette Donovan, assistant to the president. 

The social media tribute, which will be posted across the College’s various official social media channels, will include a virtual reveal of the presidential portrait commissioned by the Board of Directors. Created by Maryville College Professor of Art Dr. Carl Gombert, Bogart’s portrait soon will be hung alongside 10 other presidential paintings on display inside Thaw Hall’s Lamar Memorial Library.

Parade planned for June 26

The week-long recognition will culminate in a drive-by thank-you parade on Circle Drive from 4:30 until 5:30 p.m. on Fri., June 26. The Bogarts will be seated in a tent in front of Anderson Hall.

“We thought a procession in this style was the best way for people to say ‘Thank you’ while also adhering to guidelines put in place to prevent virus transmission,” Sullivan explained. “We invite any and all current students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends from the community to drive by and celebrate this special couple and the College’s progress over the last 10 years.

“The Bogarts have led 10 Homecoming parades, but we hope this one – in which they’re the honored spectators – will be truly memorable and also a lot of fun.”

The thank-you parade will be live-streamed on the College’s Facebook page for those unable to participate in person.

Gifts made to endowed scholarship

To recognize the Bogarts’ service to Maryville College, members of the College’s Cabinet and Board of Directors contributed to the Mary Madora Denney Bogart Endowed Scholarship Fund. Established by Tom in 2017 in recognition of the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary, the scholarship helps non-traditional students attend Maryville College.

Gifts to this scholarship fund or other initiatives in honor of the Bogarts may be made online at or by contacting the College’s Advancement Office at 865-981-8200.

Coker begins July 1

Dr. Bryan F. Coker, vice president and dean of students at Goucher College in Maryland, will assume the MC presidency on July 1. Coker was named president on Feb. 13 following a national search. 

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.”