MC’s first family experiences smooth transition
BY MATTHEW STEWART (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maryville College’s first family isn’t very different from Maryville’s other residents.
Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart and wife, Mary, are working parents trying to provide their daughter, Elizabeth, with a nurturing environment.
“She’s our only child, and we only get one chance at her being a teenager,” Mary Bogart said. “We want to make sure she has a good balance.”
“We do a lot of things together as a family, and we make decisions together as a family,” Tom Bogart said. In fact, the family agreed that he should apply to become Maryville College’s 11th president.
Maryville College’s search for a new president began in May 2009, shortly after Dr. Gerald W. Gibson announced his retirement. Dr. Bryant Cureton, president emeritus of Elmhurst College and a member of Maryville College’s Board of Directors, chaired the search committee that consisted of 15 people representing the board, faculty, staff, students and alumni.
“When I was interviewed, I told the presidential search committee that I wanted to be their president and still be a parent. We’re not the only family with responsibilities. However, it’s nice to be in a community where people balance their professional and private lives,” Tom Bogart said.
The family started house hunting about one year ago, he said.
“It feels like we’ve been here longer though, because it’s felt so much like home.”
The Bogarts have enjoyed getting out in the community. They walk on the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway, tube on Little River and explore Cades Cove and the Foothills Parkway.
The family also plans to start visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s waterfalls in the near future.
Prior to moving to Maryville, the family agreed that Mary Bogart wouldn’t work for one year to ensure Elizabeth Bogart would have a good transition.
Family members have experienced a wonderful transition. “People in Blount County are very friendly. You can strike up a conversation with anyone,” Mary Bogart said.
Elizabeth Bogart, who’s a Maryville Middle School eighth-grader, has grown up on college campuses, and she’s quickly adjusted to her new surroundings. “She’s adjusted better than her parents,” Mary Bogart joked.
The president’s daughter has attended many of the college’s functions, and she’s become friends with many college students. Elizabeth Bogart has also sung in the college’s Voices of Praise Choir and played trombone in the pep band.
Bogart lauds wife
The president later expressed his deep appreciation for his wife’s support.
“In many ways, she’s had the hardest job. Elizabeth has school, and I have my work at this college. I’m deeply grateful to her, because she gave up her dream job so I could have mine. As a family, we couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”
Mary Bogart previously taught at Washtenaw Community College in Michigan, Cleveland State Community College and York College of Pennsylvania. She’s also taught English at the middle and high school level.
The president’s wife has volunteered in many community organizations this year. She’s also worked several college outreach programs including a cookie and coffee party at Shannondale of Maryville.
Mary Bogart has also tried to meld her appreciation for art and the college archives. She’s put up artwork from faculty, alumni and college students throughout their house.
“I’m trying to find ways to bring the archives out of the basement and take them into the community. I want people to feel like they’re on campus,” Mary Bogart said.
In the near future, she hopes to teach part time at a local community college or the Blount County Adult Education Program.