Marco Institute To Hold Grand Opening

The University of Tennessee’s Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will host a grand opening on Friday, Sept. 10, at 208 Temple Court, Knoxville.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 4 p.m., followed by medieval and Renaissance-inspired food, displays and live music. The open house is free of charge and everyone is welcome.

At 7 p.m. the Marco Institute will host an inaugural lecture, “The Metamorphosis of St. Patrick: Unlearned Sinner to Learned Scribe,” by Dr. Maura Lafferty, Department of Classics, University of North Carolina.

“We also will have several displays, including items created especially for us by a Marco student, Rob Stewart, who is a blacksmith and fine metal worker from the Gatlinburg artist community,” said Dr. Robert Bast, Marco director.

“He has graciously promised to bring several pieces, including a Viking helmet and a selection of sterling silver jewelry reproduced from authentic museum pieces,” Bast said.

Marco Institute began in UT’s Medieval Studies Program. In spring 2001, faculty, with colleagues in the Renaissance and early modern periods, received a grant from the UT President’s Initiative in Teaching, Research and Service to form the Medieval and Renaissance Curriculum and Outreach Project (MARCO).

In December 2003, the Marco Institute was one of only 27 U.S. cultural institutions to win a National Endowment for the Humanities challenge grant.

The Marco program became a recognized institute at UT in the spring of 2004.

“Marco Institute is not a university department, but an interdisciplinary program and a physical center for people ‘housed’ in many UT departments,” said Bast.

“We offer a major in medieval studies and every semester we teach hundreds of students from many disciplines who take medieval and Renaissance,” he said.