In graduation-style ceremony, freshmen asked to ‘envision the end'

August 13, 2003
David Rasnake, Communications Assistant

On August 14, and again on August 21, Maryville College will open its academic year with two ceremonies designed to welcome freshmen to the College. The event, which takes the format of a mock graduation ceremony, aims to help incoming students envision the end and goal of their college journey.

The first-annual Opening Welcome will feature presentations by three College administrators. Vice president and dean of students Dr. Bill Seymour will discuss the theme of the entire ceremony in a presentation entitled “The End Depends Upon the Beginning;” additionally, president Dr. Gerald Gibson will tell “The Isaac Anderson Story” and vice president and academic dean Dr. Robert Naylor will talk to students about “The Maryville College Mission.”

The ceremony will conclude with a stage walk, but instead of diplomas new students will be presented with copies of the Maryville College Student Handbook.

WHO: Members of Maryville College’s Class of 2007, faculty and staff

WHAT: MC’s first annual Opening Welcome

WHEN: An initial ceremony will be held August 14 at 10:15 a.m. for students involved in fall athletics; all other students will attend the ceremony held August 21 at 4:15 p.m.

WHERE: The Opening Welcome will be held on the College campus lawn between Anderson and Sutton Halls, weather permitting. In case of rain, the event will be relocated to Wilson Chapel.

WHY: The event is designed to welcome incoming freshman into the College community; additionally, the ceremony, which mimics the College’s graduation ceremony, intends to help students envision the end of their college experience from the start.

PHOTO OP: Approximately 70 students will be on hand for the August 14 ceremony, and more than 200 are expected at the August 21 gathering. As during graduation, students will walk across the stage, and College president Dr. Gerald Gibson will present each student with a copy of the student handbook. Additionally, a bagpiper will provide processional music at the beginning and end of the ceremony.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2014 semester is 1,213.