"Renewing Our Strength" is theme for Aug. 30 Convocation

Aug. 16, 2012
Contact: Karen B. Eldridge, Director of Communications
865.981.8207; karen.eldridge@maryvillecollege.edu

“Renewing Our Strength” is the title of the address that Maryville College President Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart will deliver to new and returning students, faculty and staff during the school’s 2012 Convocation ceremony, which is scheduled for Thurs., Aug. 30.

The ceremony, which marks the opening of the 2012-2013 academic year, begins at 11:15 a.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre and is open to the public.

During his third Convocation as president of Maryville College, Bogart will tie Biblical passages from Isaiah to College legend Thomas Jefferson Lamar, who reopened the College after the Civil War and is considered to be the “Second Founder” of Maryville College.

Bogart is also expected to use the biblical stories of Elisha and Job and of Sisyphus in Greek mythology to relate Lamar’s life of extraordinary perseverance.

The president said his recent research on Lamar was prompted by the College’s plans to renovate its oldest building on campus, Anderson Hall, which was completed in 1870.

“He’s my new hero,” Bogart said of Lamar, “and his story resonates for us today.”

Lamar studied under founder and first president, the Rev. Isaac Anderson. Graduating from Maryville College in 1848, he went on to Union Theological Seminary and lived and worked in Missouri before returning to campus in 1857 to teach. In addition to reopening the College after the Civil War, he was instrumental in securing land for the current campus and College Woods, and he raised $100,000 for an endowment. But his 30-year tenure at the College also was marked by controversies, financial struggles and personal tragedies.

“In this convocation address, I hope to encourage the campus community to meet present-day challenges with the same spirit and concern and respect for individuals exhibited by Thomas Jefferson Lamar,” Bogart said.

Several take part in ceremony

The class of 2013, members of the Board of Directors, faculty and staff members and platform speakers will march in procession, led by members of the Knoxville Pipes and Drums, including MC senior Sam Newton. Dr. Daniel Klingensmith, professor of history and chair of the faculty, will be the macebearer and will welcome attendees to the ceremony.

J. Ashley Burrell, adjunct instructor in organ and organist/choirmaster at First Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, will perform the prelude and recessional.

John S.A. Robertson, a member of the Class of 2013 and an International and Bradford Scholar, will offer the prayer of invocation. The College’s Statement of Purpose will be read by Keli Shipley, president of the Student Government Association and a member of the Class of 2014.

“Hear My Prayer,” an anthem written by the late Moses Hogan, will be performed by the Maryville College Concert Choir under the direction of Stacey Wilner, coordinator of choral music.

Scripture reading from Isaiah 40:25-31 will be read by Miranda Clower, a Presidential and Bradford Scholar and member of the Class of 2013. The Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, campus minister, will offer prayers for the College.

Dr. Barbara Wells, vice president and dean of the College, will give the declaration of the academic year, and, following the singing of the Alma Mater, McKee will conclude with the benediction.

Classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 29.


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 2013 semester is 1,168.