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Perspectives On Integrity

The Keepers of the Covenant are a coalition of faculty, staff and students who aim to uphold the three tenants of the Maryville College Covenant: Scholarship, Respect and Integrity. Twenty eight years ago, the students of Maryville College adopted these ideals in order to strengthen and affirm the College community. The goal of the Keepers is to keep these ideals at the forefront of our lives. When students sign the Covenant during their freshman year, they are making a lifelong pledge to pursue knowledge, treat everyone with dignity and be trustworthy in all relationships.

In our article series on these ideals, the third and final tenant of the covenant is integrity. Our covenant states that “we commit ourselves to truth, honesty, dependability, and responsibility in all our actions and relationships.”

Our campus community holds itself accountable for each other’s actions. We are also held accountable in the classroom.  Professors all have an academic integrity policy in their syllabi but are able to trust their students to put in the effort to achieve academic excellence of their own accord.
Below are some examples of MC student and staff interpretations of the concept of integrity.

“Integrity is important because, if you are not your true self, one cannot grow and build on who you are as a person,” said Raeanne Bray, Resident Director and Housing Coordinator at MC. “Integrity is important in my position when it comes to people’s behavior. Integrity  helps us build community in residence halls through encouraging people to be honest with each other and community in their daily interactions.”

“Integrity comes into play for me when I go in to take a test,” sophomore Brinley Knowles said. “I know that the teachers won’t suspect us of cheating, because they know we have agreed to and understand the tenant of integrity in our academic life.”

“Integrity is being the best person you can be,” sophomore Natalie Tankersley said. “It is striving to simultaneously be yourself and a good person; it’s trying to be good to people around you as well.”

“Integrity is knowing you’re doing the right thing when nobody’s looking,” said Bryan Horton ‘17. “Knowing that you can be held accountable for your actions.”

“Integrity is doing the right thing even when you don’t have someone that is looking over your shoulder,” senior Evan Ezell said. “It may not always be the easiest thing to do, but you do it anyway because you know it is the right thing.”

“Integrity goes into respect, too,” junior Austin Taylor said. “Being able to grow from things when you may not agree with the idea or opinion of another individual. Integrity is being able to take those things, grow from them and still be able to live in a community with other people who have different views than yourself.”

“Integrity is being a person of strong character, someone who is truthful, someone who does what’s right even when it’s not always easy,” senior Jordan McCullough said.

To our college community, integrity is about having strong moral character. Integrity is driven by a person’s intrinsic motivations, not a mandate from another person. Our faculty, staff and students recognize that, in order to have integrity, one must be honest, considerate, responsible and strong. From the quotes above, it is evident that integrity is woven into every facet of life at Maryville College including academics, the residence life program and personal lives. When we look back at our previous articles on scholarship and respect, the theme of integrity can be seen throughout. For a person to excel in his or her pursuit of knowledge and to treat others with respect, he or she must live a life with integrity. Every member of our Maryville College community works to uphold all three tenants of the covenant everyday. Thanks to this college, students can take these tenants beyond their four years here and bring scholarship, respect, and integrity to their future communities.  

Watch our videos on each of the three tenants at

The video was filmed and edited by Ryan Lay ’20 under the mentorship of Jacob Haskew.

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