The Highland Echo is nearing the 99th anniversary since its first publication. That means that, with the college itself founded in 1819, the Highland Echo has existed for over half of Maryville College’s lifetime.
Many people don’t know that every single issue ever printed can be found on the easily accessible online archives. This database holds articles from every issue of the Highland Echo from present day dating all the way back to the very first article, printed Nov. 4, 1915.
The Highland Echo itself was not MC’s first newspaper. Before 1915, the college’s only newspaper was the College Monthly, which only published one issue each month.
The change to a weekly publication as opposed to monthly was spurred on by an increase in enrollment, new equipment like the college’s then new swimming pool and an increase in college activities and spirit. A monthly newspaper was no longer enough to bring the Maryville College community current and timely articles with this influx in activities on campus.
According to an editorial in its first edition, the Highland Echo, a weekly newspaper, was chosen as the College Monthly’s successor so that it could provide “fresh and crisp” news to the campus.
The parallels between the original Highland Echo and its present day descendant are undeniable as the Highland Echo continues to follow the newspaper’s original intention to both report news about and celebrate MC 99 years later.
College sports, for example, are reported on in each issue, as they have been since the first publication. These articles report extensively on all of the college’s sports, keeping readers alert on recent wins or losses and allowing those that missed the games a chance to know what happened.
The sports fans and students spectators are celebrated as well, whether that is in 1915 where students were reported to have marched around Maryville to celebrate a victory against Chattanooga or the Highland Echo’s last issue where the Loud Scotsmen, a club dedicated to supporting the college’s athletic teams, is spotlighted.
Other college events from a week or two prior to publication are reported on as well, whether that is the recent Isaac’s boycott or, like in the first issue, the parties that each class participated in on Halloween. Every publication of the Highland Echo illustrates current events and activities, keeping the Highland Echo’s readers up-to-date with everything that occurs on campus.
There is no doubt that the Highland Echo has changed in the past 99 years. The newspaper no longer has advertisements for local businesses sprawled across every page, and the amount of photography used in each issue has definitely increased overtime.
However, despite these changes, the Highland Echo has kept true to its initial purpose. The newspaper time and time again has shown its dedication to keeping readers informed on recent events and activities and celebrating school spirit and clubs in all forms.
As the Highland Echo reaches its 99th anniversary, perhaps it is best to end with words from the newspaper’s first editorial explaining the Highland Echo’s mission that it has continued to follow since its creation.
“The name of the weekly is the ‘Highland Echo’, and may all the news of Maryville College find and echo in it”.