MC says goodbye to Lewter, Brunger, West, Finn and Hutchens

As the 2012-2013 school year comes to a close, it is worth recognizing the Maryville College faculty and staff members who have left an impact on the college, but will not be returning in the fall for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Andy Lewter, the associate dean of students for student development, is leaving MC after 16 years at the college. During his term, he served as the overseer for freshman orientation and Great Beginnings, judicial affairs, peer mentors and Mountain Challenge. He is leaving MC to take a position as the dean of students at Georgia College and State University.

Lewter’s colleague Vandy Kemp, vice president and dean of students, said that Lewter has been the best kind of colleague.

“We have made each other better. We balance each other, and we support each other. We have taught each other a lot, and I can never repay him for his patience and consideration of me,” Kemp said. “He is my brother, my friend, and my colleague.”

Professor of economics, Dr. Scott Brunger, will also be saying goodbye to MC after this spring term. After a 31-year tenure, he is entering a much-deserved retirement. His specialties during his years at the college included macroeconomics, international economics and African studies.

Brunger’s fellow economics professor Dr. Sherry Kasper, professor of economics, said that she sees him as an embodiment of the Maryville College Statement of Purpose, especially in his actions as a “life-long learner” and ability to “to stimulate purposeful inquiry.”

Sophomore Brittani Edge has worked with Brunger through the Peace and World Concerns Committee, as well as in class. She said that her interest in economic development has been greatly influenced by him.

“He gives great real world examples that makes students think about more challenging questions than what they learned in the class period,” Edge said.

Summar West, instructor of composition, will also be leaving the college at the end of this academic year. A class of 2001 graduate of Maryville College herself, West taught freshman composition and seminars, as well as multiple courses in the English literature and writing/communications majors for three years. She also advised “Impressions,” the MC literary magazine. Due to the end of her temporary contract, she will be leaving at the end of the semester.

Class of 2012 graduate Justin Kirkland said that he developed an especially close relationship with her during his time here.

“She believed in me in a way that makes you truly want every word you write to be important,” Kirkland said. “She teaches her students to be better people, and that’s above and beyond the title of a professor.”

Bonnie Finn is moving on from her position as the administrative assistant for the Center for Campus Ministry in order to pursue graduate degrees in Musicology and Library Science from the University of Tennessee. She began working in the CCM six years ago, and was soon inspired to begin attending Maryville College as a student as well. She will be graduating May 19.

Preston Fields, director of community engagement, has worked closely with Finn during her time here, and characterizes her as a lover of learning who has greatly impacted the CCM in its daily operations.

“More than her work as an office manager, her true impact will be the deep friendships she has formed with her coworkers and, most especially, with the students,” Fields said. “I feel like my big sister is going off to grad school and moving out of the house.”

Executive director of the Clayton Center for the Arts, Robert Hutchens, will be retiring this summer, as well. He has been at the helm of the Clayton Center for three years, since its opening in 2010. Under his guidance, the CCA has become a regional leader in arts and entertainment in East Tennessee. Blake Smith will be stepping into the position as of June 1.

Student Jerica Johnson, who spends her time as a corporate sales and event house management worker, said that, during his time, Hutchens has “really listened to the Maryville community and has tried to get acts that they would enjoy.”

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