Three recognized with alumni awards

Oct. 7, 2013
Contact: Chelsea Morgan, Communications Assistant
865.981.8207; communications@maryvillecollege.edu

Maryville College honored three alumni during the National Alumni Association’s annual meeting and reception held Sept. 28 in the Alumni Gymnasium on campus.

Alumni Reception & Awards Ceremony

The College’s Alumni Citation was presented to George Schember ‘63, whose graduate education following MC led to nearly 27 years of valued service as the Central Intelligence Agency’s foremost expert on export controls, technology transfer and

non-proliferation, and Paul Elliot ‘63, retired screenwriter, producer and director of shows such as Dolly [Parton] and the Donny and Marie Osmond Show, as well as live entertainment spectaculars for theme parks like Disneyland, Disney World, EuroDisney and Sanrio Puroland.

Since 1961, the College’s Alumni Citations have recognized graduates who have rendered such service in professional, business, civil, social or religious endeavor as to benefit humanity and bring honor to the College, or who have rendered unusual service in any capacity on behalf of the College.

Smith Jean-Philippe ‘00, who teaches computer-assisted study skills, biology and geometry in Maryville High School’s Special Education Department, was named the recipient of the Kin Takahashi Award for Young Alumni during the reception.

The Kin Takahashi award, instituted in 1999, honors alumni who have, within 15 years of graduation, lived lives characteristic of College legend Kin Takahashi, who, in his 36 years of living, worked tirelessly for the betterment of his alma mater, his church and his society.

A Bergenfield, N.J., native, Schember arrived on the Maryville College campus in the fall of 1959. He majored in history and was involved in the College’s track and baseball teams and Kappa Phi organization.

After graduating from the College, Schember earned a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and later completed the economic studies program at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C. He completed Officer Candidate School in San Antonio, Tex., and after serving as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force’s U-2 Squadron that flew missions over Vietnam and Cuba, Schember was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for its elite year-long training program.

Schember retired in 1994 after working in over two dozen countries, advising the intelligence community on number of committees, heading several branches in CIA’s Technology Transfer Center, participating in Department of Commerce and FBI outreach programs, and serving as the CIA’s leading expert on illegal transfers.

He continues to serve his community with his contribution to the church, as well as the preservation of historic and artistic facilities in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Schember is president of the Preservation of Historic Winchester and has chaired the local library’s used book sale for more than a decade, raising more than $40,000 yearly for library programs. He is president of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, an 80-year-old organization that operates Winchester’s four museums.

As an elder in the Presbyterian Church, Schember has served on sessions in McLean and Winchester, Va., teaches Sunday school, and leads mission trips each year.

He and Jeanne Steele Schember ’65 have been married for 48 years and reside in Winchester, Va. The couple has one adult daughter, Candace.

Elliott,a Nashville, Tenn., native, majored in theatre and was cast in several productions at Maryville College before transferring to George Peabody College after the closure of MC’s major in theatre was announced.

He went on to earn a master of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and accepted a position as head of the theatre department in 1968 at Stratford College in Danville, Va. He was later was promoted to chairman of the college’s performing arts department.

Elliott returned to Nashville after his first play, “Ledge, Ledger and the Legend,” was published, realizing his desire to act and write in addition teaching. He quickly established himself as a screenwriter, producer and director of major network and syndicated programs.

After joining Show Biz Inc., Elliott worked on such shows as Marty Robbins’ Spotlight, Pop! Goes the Country and Nashville on the Road. In the 1990s, Elliott joined Creative Meeting Services as director and producer of multi-million dollar

press launches for Fortune 500 companies. The work took him all over the United States and abroad.

Since retiring in 2007, Elliott has returned to writing full-time, producing several notable plays and novels. Most recently, The Riverton Project, Elliott’s first novel, is scheduled be sold in bookstores this fall and is slated for a Warner Brothers series.

Elliott resides in Los Angeles with his husband of 18 years, Edward Joswick. He has two daughters, Keats and Kiersten, from a previous marriage.

Jean-Philippe came to Maryville College in 1996 intent on making an impact on campus. The Miami, Fla., resident quickly joined the Fighting Scots football team freshman year and enjoyed many friends through his involvement in Residence Life, the Student Government Association, the Black Student Association and Voices of Praise Gospel choir.

The business and organization management major graduated in 2000 and was accepted into the University of Tennessee’s TRI-IT Program for teacher certification in special education. Jean-Philippe was hired by Knox County (Tenn.) School System after graduation and was hired in 2003 by the Maryville City School System. In 2004, he celebrated completion of a master’s degree in special education from UT and has since earned an educational specialist degree in leadership and administration from Lincoln Memorial University in 2011. He is currently working on a doctorate in educational leadership and policies studies at UT.

In addition to teaching in MHS’s Special Education Department, Jean-Philippe has co-taught chemistry, biology and English and also served as an assistant administrator

Jean-Philippe is also a dean, trustee, treasurer and Sunday school teacher at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Alcoa; president of the Knoxville chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; and a member of Leadership Blount’s Class of 2013. Smith stays connected to his alma mater, returning to the College to serve an assistant coach and mentor to Fighting Scots football players from 2002 until 2011 and serving on the head football coach search committee in 2011 and 2012.

Jean-Philippe and wife Sharon live in Maryville with their two sons, Sidney and Seth.

To nominate an alumnus/alumna for an award, visit the College’s web site http://www.maryvillecollege.edu/alumni/stay-connected/awards/ for details.


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.