Milligan College dedicates building, commons

    Milligan College re-dedicated its main classroom building last week before a crowd of students, faculty and board members. The college also dedicated and named the surrounding lawns as the Mary Sword Commons.
   The commons area is named in honor of Mary Sword Jarvis, a 1943 alumna of Milligan and a Bristol, Tenn., resident. The newly created commons is located at the heart of the oldest and most historic area of campus. Encompassing the entire center of the academic quadrant, the re-designed commons provides a significant enhancement to the student life experience at Milligan, explained Milligan President Don Jeanes.
   "Throughout the college's history, this area has been a place for building lifetime memories. It is where college founders Josephus and Sarah Hopwood were called to the leadership of Milligan College and the phrase 'Christian education, the hope of the world' was born," said Jeanes.
   "On this lawn, many alumni have joined hands and become engaged, lifetime friendships have been established, and plans have been made that shaped the future of many students. We are therefore pleased to honor today Mary Sword Jarvis -- a distinguished alumna of the college and a strong example of Christian leadership."
   Jarvis came to Milligan College in the early 1940s from the mountains of southwest Virginia with encouragement from her parents, who had a strong vision that their children would attend college. Three of the Sword children attended Milligan.
   At Milligan, Jarvis was influenced strongly by President and Mrs. Henry Derthick. Upon leaving Milligan, she relocated to Washington, D.C., and after her six children were born, she completed her degree in chemistry at American University in 1963 and worked as a chemist in Fairfax County, Va. Later she built a successful career in real estate.
   "Mary is devoted to her family and though she has traveled throughout the world, her commitment to the Appalachian region and to Christian education at Milligan College has not wavered," said Jeanes.
   Junior Andrew Hopper, who was recently elected president of the Milligan student body for the 2003-04 academic year, provided words of dedication on behalf of the students.
   "We thank God for Mary Sword -- for her godly example of servant-leadership to friends, to family, and now to countless generations of Milligan students," said Hopper.
   Jeanes said the $3.2 million project has been completed in phases over the past two years and involved a complete renovation of Derthick Hall, the college's main classroom building. Built in 1919, Derthick shares part of its foundation with the college's original 1867 building. The hall bears the name of college president Henry Derthick (1917-1940).
   The renovation project is part of the college's long-range vision and funding plan, which also includes scholarships, endowment and new academic and student programming initiatives.