Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine has listed Maryville College as one of the contenders in its first Top Adventure School Tournament. The tournament is organized to pit the larger schools against the small schools in the Southeast. According the Blue Ridge Outdoors website, schools were selected for “their outdoor clubs and curricula, commitment to the outdoors and environmental initiatives, the quality of their outdoor athletes and programs and their opportunities for adventure.”
MC was in tight competition to advance to the next round. Competing against University of Tennessee Chattanooga, the votes were in a constant state of flux making the votes approximately tied for much of the competition. While the schools traded majority votes back and forth regularly, our bracket of the tournament had the most participants by far.
Students rallied support for the competition with vigorous social media efforts. Many took to Facebook or Twitter in order to share the link with their friends. The number of votes reflected these efforts.
However, the appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds our campus goes beyond just numbers.
International student James McCaffrey is grateful for the outdoor experiences that Maryville College has given him. He said that his “wow moments” came from exploring the areas around us by activities such as hiking in the Smoky Mountains or canoeing on the Chilhowee River.
“It gave me opportunities that would have never been available at my home institution in Ireland,” McCaffrey said.
The outdoor experience goes further than students exploring on their own, however. The faculty and staff play a large role in creating the adventurous atmosphere on campus. They are responsible for helping student-led initiatives get off the ground.
“The fact that faculty and staff put so much time and effort into doing what the students want is one of the best parts of Maryville College,” said Sarah McGinnis, a senior at MC.
The candidacy for being one of the top adventure schools in the Southeast is an honor for Maryville College. With views of the Smokies right outside of our windows and our expansive college woods, there will always be adventures to be had whether or not we win the final title.
On April 28, the final tally for the votes that Maryville College received was 18,854. Our competition with UTC had the most participants by far. Overall, MC was able to advance to the next round with 55 percent of the votes in the first bracket. The voting for the second round ends May 13.