On Saturday, Oct. 19, Maryville College celebrated its most important homecoming yet. This year the annual event took place on the exact day the college was founded 200 years ago in 1819. Maryville College has been hosting bicentennial events since October of 2018, but it was in full swing for homecoming with Maryville College students, alumni, faculty and community members coming out to celebrate this momentous occasion in the college’s history.
The day began for some at 9 a.m. at the Wilson Center for Campus Ministry for the Service of Remembrance led by Rev. Dr. Ann Mckee. This service was a time to remember alumni and faculty who had passed since the last homecoming and celebrate the lives they had outside of Maryville College. Throughout the service, Mckee stressed the importance of endurance both in grief and during hardships.
The whole campus was full of activities and performances. Maryville College’s Voices of Praise performed on the steps of Thaw Hall and captured many with their energy and talent, becoming a favorite event for some students.
“They had so much energy, and the folks in the crowd were really enjoying it as well,” said junior Eleanor Forester. “Their voices just sounded so good!”
The lawn in front of Fayerweather was host to games and the Social Media Mosaic, where photos with the hashtag “MC 200 Years” were printed out in different colors to create an image of Anderson Hall. Plenty of alumni stopped by as they reconnected with old friends and enjoyed the festivities.
“It’s so great to be back especially celebrating 200 years,” said 2018 graduate Joanna Wong. “It’s special to see old classmates. It’s just like a big reunion.”
At 1 p.m. the Homecoming parade began. It featured the alumni classes of 1949, 1954, 1959, 1962, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. Also participating in the parade were President Tom Bogart and Mrs. Bogart, the 2019 Cheerleaders, Chair of Board of Directors, Student Veterans Association, Global Citizenship Organization, Scots Science Scholars, Residence Hall Association, Highland Echo, Student Programming Board, the Class of 1969 Golden Scots, Michelle Bailey and Marcia Rethwilm, student body president Aaron Solomon and the freshman, sophomore and junior classes.
The Maryville College Scots faced off against the United Methodist Monarchs at 2 p.m. At half time, the Homecoming Court was presented, and the Homecoming Royalty were crowned. The freshman class representatives were Abby Smither and Marissa Nelson. The sophomore class representatives were Joshua Woods and Ale Yanez. the junior class representatives were Madison Gilliam and Jacorey Jackson. The senior representatives were Maria Vanegas, Kelley Wendall, Hayley Jeffers, Sydelle Young, Aaron Solomon, Kyle Riddle, Cameron Moore and Jordan Muse. Kelley Wendall and Kyle Riddle were crowned as this year’s Homecoming Royalty.
Before, during and after the game, tailgating took place outside the football stadium and provided a space for students, alumni and community members to enjoy the homecoming festivities with friends. Some seniors were particularly moved by the Bicentennial homecoming being their last.
“There’s a lot of alumni here, and it’s 200 years. We get to be a part of that!” said senior religion major Natalie Tankersley. “It’s exciting! It’s encouraging to see people who’ve come through and have made it in life.”
Homecoming is always a momentous and celebratory occasion, but it was clear the added excitement over the bicentennial created an environment that made it easy for everyone to share their school spirit.