Maryville College to install new president, celebrate Homecoming virtually
Maryville College will install, virtually, Dr. Bryan F. Coker as its 12th president in a ceremony that will be live-streamed along with other digital experiences slated for Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 16-18.
Coker, who officially began his tenure at the College on July 1, will receive the College’s robe and medal of office on Oct. 16 from leaders of the College’s Board of Directors, Cole Piper ’68 and Dr. Mary Kay Sullivan, and deliver an installation address.
Video of the historic event will be available for viewing at 8 a.m., Sat., Oct. 17, at maryvillecollege.edu/foundersday.
Other components of the installation program will include musical performances by the Maryville College Concert Choir and submitted video messages from family and friends.
This year, the installation ceremony will be coupled with Founder’s Day, an annual tradition that celebrates the College’s rich history, annual successes and generosity of MC friends and alumni. Coker will present, virtually, three alumni, Dr. Valerie Malyvanh Jansen ’01, Mr. Jeffrey Coghill ’70 and Dr. Carey Cox Coghill ’72, with alumni awards, and he also will recognize donors whose cumulative giving has placed them into new levels of the Isaac Anderson Society.
“This is not the ceremony anyone envisioned back in February, when we introduced Dr. Coker as our next president, but we are pleased to be able to mark the occasion in a significant way and to be able to share this historic moment with thousands of alumni and friends,” said Suzy Booker, vice president for institutional advancement and one of the organizers of the event. “We are excited for people to get to know Dr. Coker better and to hear his plan for Maryville College in the twelfth presidency.”
The schedule of 50 virtual Homecoming events includes something for everyone: reunions, gatherings for special interest groups, athletic events, award presentations, musical performances, archival presentations, a service of remembrance, a virtual campus tour, a “Harvest Crafts Fair Auction” presented by the Blount County Alumni Association, a Diversity Happy Hour event, the launch of MC’s new KT Global initiative, church services and more.
“After much thoughtful deliberation, as well as input from alumni, the College has made the difficult decision for campus to remain closed to the public until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted,” said Angie Harris, director of alumni affairs. “A virtual Homecoming allows anyone with a computer, smart phone or mobile device and an internet connection to join Homecoming 2020.”
Members of the campus and wider community are invited to participate in the weekend’s events. The full schedule and details can be found on the Maryville College website, at maryvillecollege.edu/homecoming. Please note that the campus will be closed to the public during Homecoming weekend (most buildings will be closed/locked, and dining areas are only open to students).
“MC's Homecoming weekend is a treasured time for our community to come together to reconnect with friends, reminisce about college days, and make new memories,” Harris said. “While Homecoming 2020 will look different this year, we are planning creative ways to celebrate this important annual event. Even though we won't be together in person, we can connect from wherever we are! We hope to see familiar faces and reconnect with alumni who haven't returned ‘Home to Howee’ for some time.”