KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For this boarded up campus, the dulcet tones of "Pomp and Circumstance" echoing through the chapel is a small miracle--and a big step forward.
"It gives us hope," Interim President Keith Lindsey said. "Not only that, but it lets the community know that Knoxville College is here."
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The 144 year-old institution has a new alumna after its first commencement ceremony in years.
The historically black college was again named to the Knox Heritage list of "Fragile and Fading" institutions in immediate need of a preservation plan.
"You don't think something as big as a campus can disappear very easily, but I promise you they can disappear overnight," Todd Morgan, executive director of Knox Heritage, said." So before you know it things are gone and what we're trying to do is draw attention to it before it's too late."
Lindsey, the school's interim president, says it's moving in the right direction.
"We've done a great first phase of our renovation starting with the historic McMillan Chapel. Getting our lights back on around the front rim of the campus, getting our trees manicured and cut down to really make it look like it's really invigorating," he said.
But he acknowledges there's still a long way to go.
"We recognize where we have to grow, we recognize where we have to change. But that change has come. You know this graduating signifies that change. It signifies that we are now on a different path."
A path the lone graduate of the class of 2019 has traveled and one Lindsey hopes soon more students will follow.