Presidential welcome

Tom Bogart meets community, college personnel and students at reception

Enjoying a few moments of conversation during the reception are, from left, Maryville College president Gerald Gibson, Bill Johnson and Jim Proffitt.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Enjoying a few moments of conversation during the reception are, from left, Maryville College president Gerald Gibson, Bill Johnson and Jim Proffitt.

Incoming Maryville College President Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart got a taste of Blount County recently when he was the guest of honor during a reception at the new Clayton Center for the Arts.

“The number of people who turned out is just a testament to the high regard people have for Maryville College,” Bogart said following the March 24 event. “It is a very promising sign as I’m coming in to see so many people so enthusiastic to continue their hard work on behalf of the college.”

Bogart said the reception was an opportunity to hear from the students at the school. “It was a chance to start to hear one-on-one stories from students about why they came here and what experiences they have had here,” he said. “Maryville College is a place that is dedicated to helping students deepen their faith, broaden their knowledge and identify and reach their full potential.”

The incoming president said his goal when a student graduates is simple. “What I’d like for students to say is, ‘Mission accomplished,’” he said.

Bogart, who is dean of academic affairs and professor of economics at York College of Pennsylvania, will be the institution’s 11th president. He and his family were in town for a few days to scout a new home and to get acquainted with the community.

“We should be naming my successor this week or next and that will make the transition more definite,” he said. “I’ll wrap-up up there in early June, and we’ll move down here after our daughter finishes her school year in mid-June.”

Bogart said the next few months hold challenges and opportunities. “On a personal level, we’re selling a house in Pennsylvania and looking to buy a house in Maryville, and we’re packing, and we’ll be unpacking,” he said. “On an institutional level, I’ll really be working together with President Gibson, the board, the faculty and staff and students and people in the community to have a very smooth transition. This visit was part of that process.”

Bogart said when he walks in the door at the college on July 1, Maryville College and its students have economic challenges, just as any college does in the current economic climate.

“We also have the wonderful opportunity of our first full year in the Clayton Center. That’s going to be a new set of opportunities but also challenges as the college and community learn how to take best advantage of that wonderful resource,” he said. “Beyond that, we continue to have plans to attract excellent students, retain and challenge them with a curriculum that continues to evolve and continue to renovate and build new space.”

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