Freshmen moved into their dorms at Maryville College on Thursday, Aug. 15, and classes begin next Wednesday, Aug. 21.

The public is invited to the Convocation on Thursday, Aug. 22, when President Tom Bogart will deliver an address titled "Why Are We Here?" 

The ceremony, which marks the opening of the 2019-20 academic year, will begin at 11:15 a.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre.

Convocation at Maryville College is traditionally held the Thursday after the first day of classes, which begin on a Wednesday, and the president delivers the address. But that was not always the case.

From the beginning, the college catalogs listed "The first Chapel Service" of the year on either the day of registration or the first day of class. The first use of the word "Convocation" in the catalog was in 1939. That year, the opening chapel service was on registration day (Sept. 14) and "Annual Convocation" was on the first day of classes (Sept. 15).

In 1967, chapel was dropped, and Annual Convocation was held 11 days after the start of class. In 1969 and for the next several years, Convocation was held on the day before or the day after the beginning of classes.

Starting in the 1980s, Convocation has been held the day after classes start, with the president serving as the speaker.

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