Rev. Dr. Anne McKee has been an integral part of many students’ experiences at Maryville College. McKee has worked at the college for twenty-one years leading the campus spiritually and impacting the lives of students.
When McKee was invited to work at Maryville College by the chair of the search committee, Dr. Bill Myer, she knew that she wanted to accept. McKee knew the College held a lot of the same values that she did, and felt that she could make a difference. Looking at McKee’s time here, it is easy to say that she has made an impact, and this started out with a historical event.
McKee remembers the tragedy that was the attack on Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The day started like any other, when all of a sudden, she was canceling chapel and inviting students to join her in Isaac’s Cafe to watch the news and pray.
She recalls all the faculty and students feeling scared, numb, and shocked.“I remember thinking that this is exactly what I am here to do–bring everyone together,” McKee said.
McKee has since made a daily effort to bring students together and, in turn, supported the whole student population, even when it was difficult. McKee recalled another event in her early years on campus when a group named “Closet” faced some push back from administration.
Closet was the first queer community club on campus. At the time, administration did not support the idea because of the college’s ties to the Presbyterian Church.
McKee felt strongly that she needed to help these students and that the college “should be radical in their love.” Eventually, administrators agreed with the students and their supporting faculty members.
When asked what the highlights of her career were, McKee replied, “making memories with students.” She stated that she will miss many things about Maryville College including her great colleagues, the students, the Bonner program, hearing the chapel scholars sing, homecoming festivities, the Pearson’s staff, and much more.
McKee hopes to leave behind a legacy of love. “Maryville College is pretty well known for having a big connection between faith, learning, and justice. This connection should not be taught by making people believe the way that you believe, but by acting radically in their love and acting for a better word. Not by teaching love, but by showing it and teaching people to live lives beyond themselves. Not everyone is going to be a Presbyterian minister, but can still do good on the largest possible scale,” McKee stated.
While McKee will not be working at the college during the last few months of the school year, she will be present at a lot of the college’s events. McKee plans on coming back every Tuesday to hold a chapel service in the Center for Campus Ministry. She will also attend this year’s baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies.
McKee’s time at Maryville College is coming to an end, but she plans to continue her mission to “Do good on the largest possible scale.” McKee said she felt a calling to come to Maryville College twenty-one years ago, and now she feels called to be a pastor for a local church. While MC will miss her, perhaps it’s time to share the beautiful soul that is Anne McKee with the rest of the community.