Alabaster native honored at Maryville College awards ceremony

Published 2:31 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023


ALABASTER – Alabaster native Natalie Watts was recently recognized by Maryville College during its annual Academic Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 15.

Watts, an environmental studies major, received the Judson B. Murphy Endowed Business Award, which is presented annually to a senior who demonstrates outstanding work in business and organization management with outstanding character and well-rounded achievement and career promise.

Held in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of the Clayton Center for the Arts, the annual event honors those MC students who have completed the 2022-2023 academic year in ways that lift up the scholastic value of a liberal arts education. Numerous students, parents and family members were in the audience, and a procession of faculty members and administrators — led by macebearer Dr. Zachary Himmelberger, assistant professor of psychology — joined the honorees on stage.

“These students have shown a devotion to learning, a passion for understanding, a sensitivity to nuance, an appreciation for cultural and social diversity, and a willingness to use their growing wisdom for the common good,” said Dr. Dan Klingensmith, vice president and dean of the College, who served as the evening’s emcee. “I speak for all of my colleagues, I believe, when I say that there is no higher honor than to guide them along the way to these academic accomplishments, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to honor them at this annual ceremony.”

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges.

“For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything—to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away,” read a press release by Maryville College.

It is located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville. Maryville College offers nearly 1,200 students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last.

Today, its 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of the college’s Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”