It was to the sounds of his “ baggepype” that The Miller in Chaucer’s “Canturbery Tales” led the party of travelers out of town. The foothills of Maryville will reverberate next weekend with the sounds of the bagpipe, beckoning students, friends, alumni, dignitaries, community folks, faculty and staff to college for a very special event: The inauguration of Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart.
Festivities begin on Wednesday and continue through Saturday, April 13-16. Activities, most of them free and open to the public, range from showcasing students’ works, symposiums, formal dinners and on-the-ground picnics. The four-day event is meant to not only celebrate a new president -- only the 11th in the history of the 192-year-old college -- but to showcase all that is special and distinctive about the small liberal arts college nestled in East Tennessee.
Each day, the bagpipes will welcome guests to the college, which currently has an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students. The first is Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the outdoor plaza of the Clayton Center for the Arts. Sam Newton, Class of 2013, is the piper.
The official ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 16, in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of the Clayton Center for the Arts. The theme for the inauguration is “The Maryville Difference: Celebrate. Serve. Imagine.”
The public is invited to attend the formal installation ceremony at 10:30 a.m., April 16, but should be advised that seating is limited inside the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre. The ceremony will be streamed by Knox ivi, an online video company. Coverage can be accessed from the College’s homepage, maryvillecollege.edu, or knoxivi.com.
At least 40 delegates from other colleges and universities are expected, as well as alumni representatives.
Following the ceremony, a picnic lunch on the grounds will be held courtesy of Aramark Higher Education food services. Musical entertainment will be provided by Pistol Creek Catch of the Day and the Bill Swann Trio.
“As the Inauguration Committee discussed the plans for this inauguration, we decided that in addition to the events being a celebration of Dr. Bogart as the new Maryville College president, we agreed that this should be also a celebration of the College - its rigorous academic opportunities, emphasis on a total learning experience, and its proud and distinguished history,” said Natalie Haslam, committee co-chairperson.
Co-chair Mark Ingram added: “In accepting the College’s offer to be its 11th president last year, Dr. Bogart conveyed his excitement and passion for those things that make Maryville College distinctive, so we thought it would be fitting to use this opportunity to show the region how Maryville College uniquely prepares students for lives of citizenship and leadership.”
Bogart began his term July 1, 2010, replacing Dr. Gerald Gibson, who retired after 17 years at the helm. Previously the dean of academic affairs and professor of economics at York College of Pennsylvania, Bogart holds doctoral and master’s degrees in economics from Princeton University. His bachelor’s degree is from Rice University.