Maddie Taylor (‘23) continues to “Do good on the largest possible scale”

Maddie Taylor (‘23) is a Maryville College alumna who currently serves as the executive assistant to President Dr. Bryan Coker.

Taylor was inspired to attend MC by “Maryville College’s super fan,” a camp counselor who was always seen wearing gear from his alma mater. She later attended Expanding Horizons, a summer camp hosted by Maryville Adventures in Studying Theology (MAST). 

When it was time to apply to colleges, she applied to MC and several others. However, her decision was solidified when she was awarded the full-tuition McGill scholarship. After touring the campus, participating in the Expanding Horizons program, and meeting fellow students, she already felt at home at MC.

Taylor majored in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. During her time at MC, she was actively involved in the Student Government Association (SGA), serving as a senator her freshman year, vice president of the student body during her sophomore and junior years, and ultimately as president of the student body during her senior year.

Additionally, she was an admissions ambassador, a resident assistant, a peer mentor and a member of Best Buddies. She dedicated three semesters to her thesis, which focused on studying the election of Republican women in relation to the endorsements they received.

As a senior, Taylor was awarded the Outstanding Senior Award, which she called a “huge surprise.” 

“It just meant a lot to be recognized for my efforts and how much I care about the college,” Taylor said. 

After graduation, Taylor began a remote marketing job and moved to Savannah, Georgia. However, Taylor said that she ultimately learned remote work was not for her and that Savannah was too far from family and friends. After a few months, she felt it was time to move back home. 

She attended MC’s homecoming in Oct. 2023 and during a conversation with President Coker, she shared her plans to seek a new job. Coker mentioned the open executive assistant position to Taylor and encouraged her to apply. 

Soon thereafter, Taylor was hired and started working in December 2023.

“It wasn’t necessarily planned, but I think those are [things] that are just meant to be. Your life will get you where you need to be at points like this,” Taylor said.

Taylor expressed her only hesitation in accepting the job was the concern that she might still “feel like a student.” However, she said that those fears disappeared as soon as she started working. 

“Faculty [and] staff make me feel like I am a part of that group and don’t treat me any differently than they would their other colleagues. They have all been so kind,” Taylor said.

“I come in and go upstairs to work everyday, and then I leave, and I go home. It feels like a different place, [even if] I walk the same paths.” 

“It’s a good different. That passion and service that I feel towards the college is still there, just in a different way.”

Taylor said that the number of alumni who are MC employees makes the institution special. In fact, the faculty and staff she was the closest to in her time as a student were alumni. 

“You can just feel the passion they have for [Maryville College], and all of their work is in the faith of progressing the college forward and making [it] a better place,” Taylor said.

When asked what message she would most want to share with the current student body, Taylor emphasized the importance of students maximizing their opportunities at Maryville College while also acknowledging their own capabilities.

 “I can’t necessarily name off all of the bills that I helped pass in SGA, but I can remember the mentorship that I gave to the student leaders coming up.”

Taylor stated that the true legacy to leave is relationships and building trust with others, not the things that “typically stress us out and bring us over the edge sometimes.”

“This is all an experiment, in a way. You come [to MC] because you love this place, you want to succeed, you want to do your best, [and] you want to learn and grow as a person. And it’s not all going to be perfect.”

“You are going to make mistakes. You are going to make the wrong call, and that’s okay because all of that creates the person who ends up graduating from here and going out to do good on the largest possible scale.”

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