Maryville College
Anderson Hall at Maryville College
Former names
Southern and Western Theological Seminary (1819–1842)
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1819; 205 years ago (1819)
Endowment$93.1 million (2019)[1]
PresidentBryan Coker
Academic staff
79, with student faculty ratio of 12:1
Undergraduates1,072 (all undergraduate) (2022)[2]
CampusSuburban, 320 acres (130 ha)
ColorsOrange and garnet
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III Collegiate Conference of the South

Maryville College is a private liberal arts college in Maryville, Tennessee. It was founded in 1819 by Presbyterian minister Isaac L. Anderson for the purpose of furthering education and enlightenment into the West. The college is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the United States and the 12th-oldest institution in the South. It is associated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and enrolls about 1,100 students. Its mascot is the Scots, and sports teams compete in NCAA Division III athletics in the Collegiate Conference of the South.


As a liberal arts school, the college promotes a well-rounded education. The school requires numerous general education courses to achieve this. The courses are taken through the conclusion of the student's education, contributing to the graduating student's becoming knowledgeable in a number of fields.

Maryville College is one of the few colleges in the nation that requires graduating students to complete a comprehensive exam in their major and conduct an extensive senior thesis.

U.S. News & World Report in its Best Colleges ranks Maryville #3 in Regional Colleges South, #1 in Best Colleges for Veterans, and #2 in Best Undergraduate Teaching.[1]


Anderson Hall


Maryville College was founded as the Southern and Western Theological Seminary in 1819 by Isaac L. Anderson, a Presbyterian minister. Anderson had founded a school, Union Academy, in nearby Knox County, before becoming minister at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville. He expressed to his fellow clergy the need for more ministers in the community, including a request to the Home Missionary Society and an appeal to divinity students at Princeton University in 1819. The new seminary was intended to help fill this need for ministers. It opened with a class of five men, and the new school was adopted by the Synod of Tennessee and formally named the Southern and Western Theological Seminary in October 1819.[3]

After receiving its charter from the Tennessee General Assembly in 1842, the school adopted its current name: Maryville College.[4]


In 2004, Maryville College was recognized by the Race Relations Center of East Tennessee for its history of "contributing to improving the quality of life for all in East Tennessee".[5] Maryville College was racially integrated from its earliest days. An ex-slave named George Erskine studied there in 1819, sponsored by the Manumission Society of Tennessee. Erskine went on to preach during the 1820s and was formally ordained by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1829.[6]

Maryville College was closed during the Civil War, but, upon reopening, it again admitted students regardless of race, assisted by the Freedmen's Bureau.[7]

When the State of Tennessee forced Maryville College to segregate in 1901, the college gave $25,000—a little more than a tenth of its endowment at the time—to Swift Memorial Institute, the college's sister school. Swift was founded by William Henderson Franklin, the first African American to graduate from Maryville College (1880). His institute educated black students during the era of imposed segregation.

After the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, Maryville College immediately re-enrolled African Americans.

In 1875, Maryville College conferred the first college degree to a woman in the state of Tennessee. The recipient was Mary T. Wilson, the older sister of Samuel T. Wilson, who later served as president of the college from 1901 until 1930.[citation needed]


Maryville College Historic District
Area18 acres (7.3 ha)
Architectural styleColonial Revival, Queen Anne, Romanesque
NRHP reference No.82003953[8]
Added to NRHPSeptember 9, 1982
Thaw Hall, home of the library and the Social Science majors

Maryville College is located in the City of Maryville, Blount County, Tennessee. Its current campus was established in 1869 on a 60-acre (24 ha) that was then on the city's outskirts. Several campus buildings were completed over the next five decades, with financial help from major institutions and philanthropists.[9] The college's historic buildings comprise the Maryville College Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982; Anderson Hall is also separately listed on the National Register.[8]

Buildings on campus

Campus housing

The vast majority of Maryville College students reside in one of the many on-campus residence halls, which are:

Carnegie Hall, built in 1910

All residence halls besides Copeland, Davis, Gamble, Gibson, and Pearsons allow alcohol to those of age.

Campus improvement plan

In 2010 Maryville College finished the construction of the Clayton Center for the Arts.[11] This new CCA building is home to a large theatre, a flex theatre, and also classrooms and offices for professors of Maryville College.[12] There are also plans to renovate Anderson Hall beginning June 2013. The renovations will focus on the interior and are estimated to be completed by August 2014.[13]

Features of the college

The college's heating system started as an experiment by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Department of Energy and the college in 1982. Coinciding with the World's Fair in Knoxville, the experiment tested the efficiency of burning wood waste as an energy source. Tours of the plant and demonstrations were held at the college.[citation needed]

The college's oldest building, Anderson Hall, built in 1870, is currently used as a classroom building. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Crawford House is an LEED Gold certified building, and it is the oldest of 5 existing buildings to be made so in Tennessee.


Maryville College sponsors 16 varsity sports under the guidelines of NCAA Division III. Varsity sports include football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, baseball, softball, and the newest sports of men's and women's outdoor track and field effective in 2022–23. Maryville also sponsors a varsity women's equestrian team; while that sport is recognized by the NCAA as part of its Emerging Sports for Women program, Division III has yet to incorporate equestrian into the Emerging Sports program. Finally, Maryville lists its female cheerleaders (but not its male cheerleaders) and all-female dance team as varsity teams on its athletic website.

Maryville previously competed in the Great South Athletic Conference, with football competing in the USA South Athletic Conference. All teams began competing in the USA South in fall 2012.

At the end of the 2021–22 school year, the USA South underwent an amicable split. Ten of the then 19 members remained in the USA South, and eight members, including Maryville, formed the new Collegiate Conference of the South (CCS). (One other member left for a third conference.) With football and women's golf not being sponsored by CCS, Maryville continues to house those sports in the USA South.


Main article: Maryville Scots football

The Maryville Scots football team was the second sponsored sport at Maryville, started in 1889 by Maryville Scots Athletics Hall of Fame member, Kin Takahashi, who served as team captain, quarterback, and head coach from 1892 to 1897.[14]

In football, Maryville played in the 1947 Tangerine Bowl – the inaugural playing of what is now the Citrus Bowl – losing 31–6 to Catawba College.

Weekend programs

The East Tennessee Japanese School (イーストテネシー補習授業校 Īsuto Teneshī Hoshū Jugyō Kō), a weekend Japanese education program, holds its classes at the college.[15] It opened in August 1989,[16] as the Blount County (ブラントカウンティ[17]) Japanese School. In 1990 the school used Maryville students as volunteer instructors; according to Kumiko Franklin, the principal, there were 40 such volunteers applying for four positions.[16]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b "Maryville College". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  2. ^ "College Navigator - Maryville College".
  3. ^ Contributions to American Educational History, by Herbert Baxter Adams, 1893. Available from Google Books
  4. ^ "FOUNDING STORY". Maryville College. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  5. ^ College receives award from Race Relations Center, by Karen B. Eldridge, November 9, 2004. Maryville College News Archived 2007-08-08 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Maryville College; An Early Leader in the Struggle for Biracial Education in Tennessee, 1819–1901, by James B. Jones, Jr., available from Southern History Archived 2007-07-01 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ When Lawyers Go Wrong, Historians Set the Record Straight, by Ralph Luker, History News Network
  8. ^ a b "National Register Information System – (#82003953)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d West, Carroll Van. "Maryville College". Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
  10. ^ "Our History, RT Lodge". RT Lodge. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-01-13. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  11. ^ [1] Archived April 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Clayton Center for the Arts | Facility Information". 2011-03-31. Archived from the original on 2010-04-25. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  13. ^ [2] Archived January 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Athletic Program History". Maryville College. Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  15. ^ "補習授業校リスト" (Archive). Consulate General of Japan in Nashville. Retrieved on February 15, 2015. "(2)イーストテネシー補習授業校 ( East Tennessee Japanese School ) 学校所在地  c/o Maryville College 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, Tennessee 37804"
  16. ^ a b Park, Pam (1990-02-12). "School helps Japanese kids adjust to U.S.". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. BC1, BC2. - See clipping of first and of second page at
  17. ^ "北米の補習授業校一覧" (). National Education Center, Japan (国立教育会館). October 29, 2000. Retrieved on April 16, 2015. "ブラントカウンティ Blount County Japanese School (連絡先・学校所在地)c/o Maryville College 502 East Lamar Alexander Plowy Maryville TN"
  18. ^ Abelson, Reed. "Richard B. Sellars, Former Chief of Johnson & Johnson, Dies at 94", The New York Times, June 26, 2010.

35°45′06″N 83°57′49″W / 35.75160°N 83.96353°W / 35.75160; -83.96353