Located on 320 acres between Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Maryville College. This liberal arts college boasts over 1,000 students and over 30 majors including; Philosophy, Computer Science, Management, and Outdoor Recreation.
Maryville College is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, which over the years has helped mold the college into what it is today. Accepting students from other faiths, the administration hopes students will form their own ideas about life, leadership and religion, and accept those who have come to different conclusions.
Maryville College seeks to challenge students and prepare them “for lives of citizenship and leadership” in the hope that students “work for justice and dedicate a life of creativity and service to the peoples of the world.” Besides leadership, the school focuses on academics. Students are required to take a rigorous exam in their major as well as complete a senior thesis before graduating.
One of the fifty oldest colleges in the United States and the 12th oldest in the South, it’s safe to say that Maryville College has a lot of history. Presbyterian minister, Isaac L. Anderson began the college in 1819 to advance higher education in the West.
Through the years Maryville College has fought for equality for all their students. Racially integrated since its inception, Maryville has been recognized by the Race Relations Center of East Tennessee for “contributing to improving the quality of life for all in East Tennessee.”
The only time Maryville was not segregated was between 1901 and 1954 when it was against Tennessee Law. Instead of accepting this law, the college gave a tenth of their endowment ($25,000) to their sister school, Swift Memorial Institute, which educated African-American students.
Between exploring the mountains, camping or going shopping in town, students have endless opportunities to take in the scenery. Administrators at Maryville College encourage students to take a more hands-on approach when it comes to their education. Students can study abroad in over 40 countries such as Brazil, French Guinea, and Iceland. Here they will explore a different culture; coming to their own conclusions and making lasting memories that they can later use in their personal and professional lives.
Students are also given a month off in January. During this time they can take an intensive course on campus, or they can go abroad.
Maryville is part of Division III athletics and has 13 varsity sports. Students can participate in, among others; soccer, volleyball, and tennis. Maryville played in the first Tangerine Bowl (now Capital One Bowl) in 1947 but was shut out 31-0 by Catawba College.
The financial aid department does not want an accepted student to not attend because he or she cannot afford the cost. Therefore the department works with all students to make sure they are able to afford the $42,000 it costs to attend Maryville College each year. The department gives 100% of students who demonstrate financial need some form of financial assistance, through loans, scholarships, or grants. Overall, the department gives out an average award of nearly $28,000 to a majority of students, enabling them to afford their education.