KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It is a history that goes back more than 100 years, and alumni Michael Rodgers said that's a story he wants to keep alive.
"There's a whole lot of pride. Historically black colleges are still viable, and we want people to know that in Knoxville," he said.
This weekend alumni from all over the country came back to visit the only historically black college in the city.
"We had people from Chicago, California and all over," Rodgers said. "For us to come back here to college was just fantastic."
Local alumni chapter president Alvin Armstead said his classmates do just about everything.
"We have educators. We have law enforcement. We have lawyers and doctors, even within this city," he said.
This year's theme was two simple words.
"Stronger together," Rodger stated.
Those five syllables are something the local alumni chapter vice president Rhonda Guthrie said holds a lot of meaning.
"It's the thread that keeps us connected. The family has to stay connected," she said.
The college closed its doors back in 2015. It would later start enrolling students in online classes in late 2018 and saw its first alumna from those new classes this May.
"We're just trying to get Knoxville College back to its prominence," Guthrie added.
It is a goal she and the rest of the association take very seriously.
"We're starting with our associates program. Then, we'll start with our four year degree. Then eventually building by building floor by floor, we will get it back," she explained.
With the communities help, brick by brick Knoxville College alumni hope to see students walking the campus once again.
"There's still a place for us, and we have to get back and support our college and move it forward into the next century," Rodgers said.
The college is now accepting applications for the upcoming spring semester and plans to offer two new concentrations in Fall of 2020.