The Maryville City Council honored Maryville College President Tom Bogart on Tuesday, kicking off the college’s bicentennial.
Mayor Tom Taylor proclaimed Jan. 2, 2019, to be Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart Day in Maryville, in honor of Bogart’s work as the college enters its 200th year.
“When he came to Maryville, he acclimated immediately into the community,” Taylor said, citing Bogart’s participation with Leadership Blount and United Way. “He has done everything that it takes to be a great citizen of Maryville.”
Taylor emphasized the importance of Maryville College to the city’s character.
“What makes Maryville different than any other town in backwater Tennessee is it’s a college town,” Taylor said. “And it’s not just any college, it’s a fine liberal arts college that has promoted social justice throughout its history, and we are so glad you are carrying on that tradition.”
Bogart, who quipped about being president of the college for “eight going on nine going on 200” years, largely credits the city for the college’s success.
“We at the college are so fortunate to have this town to be a part of,” Bogart said. “We only made it to 200 years and only became who we are in these 200 years because of the support and engagement of the community, and we are so very fortunate.”
The college will celebrate its bicentennial throughout 2019.
Bogart was not the only citizen recognized by the mayor at Tuesday’s meeting. Reed Gossett, 12, addressed the council during public comments as a part of earning his Citizenship in the Community merit badge through Boy Scout Troop 87.
After a question to the council about a golf course in his own neighborhood, Gossett asked the council, “How can the young people help out?”
Taylor challenged the Scout to be the “fresh eyes and ears” in the community and to pay taxes, vote and obey the law, which he considers the three requirements to being a good citizen. Taylor then invited Gossett to fill in for absent Councilman Joe Swann. The Scout sat with the council until Taylor offered him the gavel at the end of the agenda.
“Really? I have always wanted to do that,” Gossett said before excitedly adjourning the meeting.