Volunteers return to Maryville College for KT Week
Katie Forrester | Daily Times Correspondent
This week marked the 16th year that Maryville College has participated in Kin Takahashi (KT) week.
Named after a former student, Kin Takahashi week is designed to bring students and alumni back to campus for one week every summer and perform service for the school.
Many alumni travel from across the country to serve Maryville College, a practice reminiscent of Kin Takahashi’s service to the school as an undergraduate student in the late 1800s. During his time, Takahashi was responsible for starting the football team, self-help groups, and the building of Bartlett Hall, which is now the student center.
Dona Coates, of the class of 1960, is one such student. This year was her first year participating in Kin Takahashi week.
“We laugh a lot,” said Coates, who was interviewed while working on landscaping. “It’s fun. We have friends down here. We get to give back to the school.”
In addition to serving the college, alumni and volunteers also meet with one another and share stories.
“We’re the girls of ’93,” said Angela Simmons. She and her school friends Dawn Beasly and Cindy Jones participate in KT week annually and try to work together while at the school.
“I never wanted to leave Maryville College, so I come back every chance I get,” said Jones.
The girls of ’93 say that they love the stories they hear during KT week from both the young and the elderly alumni. They related that their graduating class was actually the first to have phones in their dorm rooms.
“It’s just sharing the stories,” said Beasly, who also said the trio has done every project imaginable, including going into the College Woods with machetes and clearing out the overgrown kudzu.
“It was a good stress relief,” she said.
Many parents and outside volunteers also serve the college. Reggie Dailey’s daughter Brynn graduated in 2009, and he began his summers last year.
“Doing this type of work is sort of therapeutic,” said Dailey, who was working with a team to replace the porch of Crawford House which houses Maryville College’s Mountain Challenge program. “This has been a challenging project.”
Among the many volunteers this year is incoming Maryville College freshman Hunter Amos, who is serving her fifth year at KT week. Amos became interested in KT week because her father is an alumnus and used to bring her to the college on various occasions.
Now she is about to begin her first year at Maryville College as an exercise science major and a student athletic trainer under Head Athletic Trainer Sharon Wood.
This year Amos found herself painting the walls of Sutton Science Center, but has done carpentry, landscaping and masonry in the past.
“I have always been interested in enrolling, obviously, but just being able to see the alumni coming back and giving back. The impact this campus has on people is remarkable,” she said.