Anderson Hall, Maryville College
Backstory and Context
Maryville was one of the first colleges in the country to admit African Americans, Native Americans and women. The school was chartered in 1842 with the purpose of building leaders who would serve as ministers within the Presbyterian Church. However, the college experienced financial struggles which lead its officers to admit students who had a variety of backgrounds and aspirations. The school admitted a small number of African American students until the establishment of segregation laws starting in the 1890s. Unlike the vast majority of southern colleges and universities, Maryville College immediately ended segregation with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.
Originally located in downtown, the College moved to property located on the outer edge of town following destruction from the Civil War. Donations from a variety of business people and philanthropists fueled its rebuilding. It now is the heart of the Maryville Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.