When incoming freshmen arrived at Maryville College earlier this semester, Eric Bellah, director of the Maryville Fund, greeted them clad in a traditional kilt and waving the school banner during the college’s Highland Happening.
With over a month under their belts, Maryville College freshman and new upper classmen have no doubt settled in and woven the Scots’ plaid into their new college life.
Two events welcome new and returning students to campus each year: Highland Happening, held on Aug. 18, and Church and College Picnic, held on Aug. 22.
Highland Happening drew area businesses to campus where they had the opportunity to set up booths or tables and meet new students. Carrie McConkey, Maryville College regional advancement officer, said the event was well attended.
“We ended up having 32 businesses attend - everything from hair salons to financial industry folks,” she said. “It was a terrific, diverse group and we were so thrilled with the fact all the organizations were so excited and enthusiastic to be there.”
McConkey said the businesses brought treats, giveaways and coupons for the freshmen. “They were excited to meet our incoming freshmen. There was a lot of good energy going on,” she said. “We were all appreciative that the local business community cared about our students and the students’ parents were appreciative as well.”
The Church and College Picnic brought a variety of church and faith-based organizations on campus where representatives met new students and greeted upper classmen as well.
Kathleen Farnum, director of Maryville College Church Relations, said the Church and College picnic went well despite the heat and humidity - it was 98 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees. “We had about 30 churches and probably at least 100 church people there, maybe more,” she said.
Farnum said several new churches showed up and some who hadn’t come to the picnic in several years returned. “It was great to have a good crowd and was especially fitting since it was Dr. Bogart’s first picnic,” she said. “It was designed primarily for first-year students who had only been on campus for four days but is also a dinner for returning students to get them involved with area churches.”
Something new this year was the community worship service after the picnic at the Clayton Center. “This is something we will continue to do because we would love for the community to come join our first year students. We would love for this to grow,” she said.