“Impossible Assignments” is theme for Aug. 28 Convocation

Aug. 6, 2014

“Impossible Assignments” 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 College’s 2014 Convocation ceremony, which is scheduled for Thurs., Aug. 28.

The ceremony, which marks the opening of the 2014-15 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 fifth Convocation as president of Maryville College, Bogart will use the biblical story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, found in Daniel 2: 1-16, to illustrate his chosen topic.

He is expected to talk about the importance of a liberal arts education, the challenges higher education is facing and Maryville College’s commitment to meet those challenges.

“Maryville College has chosen to accept what many today view as an impossible assignment – providing a high quality, residential, liberal arts education,” Bogart said. 

Several take part in the ceremony

The class of 2015, 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. Dr. David Unger, assistant professor of biology, will be the macebearer, and Dr. Crystal Colter, associate professor of psychology and chair of the faculty, will welcome attendees to the ceremony.

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

Senior Sophia Lively ’15, a Presidential Scholar and Isaac Anderson Fellow, will offer the prayer of invocation. The College’s Statement of Purpose will be read by Cole Burns ‘16, president of the Student Government Association, a Presidential Scholar and Isaac Anderson Fellow.

“Heleluyan,” arranged by Jerry Ulrich, will be performed by the Maryville College Concert Choir under the direction of Stacey Wilner, coordinator of choral music.

Scripture reading from Daniel 2:1-16 will be read by Patrick Nkurunziza ’15, an International Scholar and Bonner Scholar. The Rev. Dr. Anne D. 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. 27.

By Chloe Kennedy, Assistant Director of Communications


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.