MARYVILLE (WATE) – Maryville College’s beloved Covenant Stone stands for scholarship, respect and integrity, values school administrators try to instill in their students. So, when students returned after a long weekend to discover the stone had been vandalized they were outraged.

Maryville College said someone sprayed black paint over the stone. Sidewalks, two students’ cars and one lamp post banner were also vandalized. Maryville Police Department

Jack Piepenbring, director of safety and security at Maryville College said the vandalism occurred early Friday and Monday morning. Vandy Kemp, Dean of students said she received emails, Facebook messages and phone calls from current students and recent graduates who are upset hat someone tried to disrupt the harmony of the campus community.

“The vandalism appears to be the work of a single person,” wrote Kemp in a memo emailed to students early Monday. “Most troubling is the fact that our Covenant Stone has been covered with paint, an act so offensive to those who believe that our community is truly characterized by values of scholarship, respect and integrity.

“This sort of behavior is rare and cannot be tolerated.”

The college’s physical plant workers removed all paint from affected areas early Monday morning. The Highland Echo reports that a $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

“The Maryville College Covenant has always brought this campus together,” Kemp concluded her memo to students. “Do not let those who want to disrupt and scare us get away with this.”

In 2001, the Covenant Stone was erected in the center of campus. New students attend the Covenant Ceremony where students are welcomed to the community. Part of the ceremony includes touching the stone.