Skip to content

Commencement Details

Ceremony Details for Graduates

Friday, May 12, 2017

CEHHS COMMENCEMENT: All Participating candidates for degrees in May and August must check-in at the Commencement Exercises at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 12, 2017, in the Thompson-Boling Assembly Center and Arena.  If you arrive to commencement after 8:25, you will need to wait at the check-in table until after the National Anthem to be seated. The ceremony will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m with the faculty processional. The ceremony will take approximately 2 hours.

RESTROOM BREAKS:  You may use the restrooms located on the arena floor from 8:00-8:15 a.m. If you must, you may also use the restroom after having your picture taken. Otherwise, please wait until after the ceremony if possible.

TICKETS: You must bring your commencement ticket to participate in the ceremony.  If you do not have a ticket, you should go to the NE end of the Arena behind the curtain, immediately upon arrival.  Your guests will not need tickets to attend the Commencement Ceremony. Tickets can be picked up to May 11th from Annette Beets in the CEHHS Advising Center in 332 Bailey Education Complex from 8 am – 12 noon or 1 pm to 5 pm.

SEATING:  Candidates will be seated alphabetically with their academic department.  There will be markers on the floor with departments and row numbers. Women will wear caps at all times.  Men will remove caps during “The Star Spangled Banner” and the “Alma Mater”.

STUDENTS GRADUATING WITH HONORS:  Honor cords are awarded to spring graduates who have achieved a cumulative 3.50 GPA by Fall 2016.  Honor cords can be picked up to May 11th from the CEHHS Office of Student Services/Advising Center in 332 Bailey Education Complex from 8 am – to 5 pm.

More information on the honors requirement for graduation can be found here.

DISABILITY INFORMATION FOR YOU AND YOUR GUESTS:  Disability seating is reserved at the Arena on the Concourse Level, sections 104, 105, 106, and 109.  Guest in wheelchairs are to be seated in these areas.  Wheelchairs are not allowed on the floor.  There are a limited number of reserved seats.

Should you or your guests need commencement materials in another format (enlarged print, Braille, etc.) a transcriber, or a sign language interpreter, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (865)974-6087.  These services are by request only, to you and your guests.

Parking for individuals who have a handicapped placard or license plate is located in the G-10 garage on Phillip Fulmer Way and in C-6, the upper parking deck behind Andy Holt Tower.  Drivers may stop long enough at the northeast entrance of Thompson-Boling arena at Phillip Fulmer Way to allow passengers with limited mobility to exit their cars.  An elevator to the right of this entrance may be taken to the concourse level.

CONFERRING OF DEGREES: All candidates will rise for the conferring of degrees.  The Chancellor will confer degrees of the candidates.  Undergraduates will wear the tassel on the right side.  The tassel will be moved from right to the left while the whole group is standing as the Chancellor confers degrees.  He will tell you when to move your tassel.

WALKING ACROSS THE STAGE: Candidates will walk across the stage as their name is announced and shake hands with the Dean of the college and the Chancellor.  The Dean and the Chancellor will take their places on the platform.  The first row of candidates will then rise, and will be guided to the stage.  As the last person in the row nears the aisle, the second row will rise and fall into the Line of March, and so on until all the rows have marched out.  You will proceed to the stage where you’re Dean and the Chancellor will shake hands with you.  You will then return to the same seat and row in which you have been sitting.  All students must take their ticket and hand it to the announcer as they enter the stage.  The announcer will read your name aloud as you cross the stage.

COMMENCEMENT DAY PHOTOGRAPHS: You’ll be photographed while crossing the stage to shake hands with your Dean.  There is no reason to stop or even pause for this photo.  However, for best results, we do recommend that you pull your tassel (as well as any long hair) well back away from your face.

  • Please PRINT your home street address, city, state, and zip code on the back of your graduation ticket. No information is shared or used for any purpose other than delivering your photo to you.

Your image should post online within 2-3 days and a proof will be mailed to your home.  If desired, you may request inexpensive quality enlargements online or by mail.  However; you are under no obligation to order any enlargements and the proof is yours to keep regardless.

DECORUM: Please remember that commencement is a formal academic ceremony, and appropriate decorum is expected of graduates and their guests. Banners, large signs, and decorated mortarboards that obstruct the view of other participants will not be permitted. Graduates will be asked to remain in their seats for the entire event, as those who exit the arena floor will unfortunately be unable to re-enter the graduates’ seating section during the commencement ceremony.

CLEAR BAG POLICY AND SECURITY: Only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon, clear, resealable plastic storage bag per person will be permitted. Guests will be allowed a small clutch purse not to exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches.


QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS: The CEHHS Office of Advising and Student Services will have a table set up behind the curtains on the NE side of the arena floor starting at 7:30 AM. Please see a staff member at the table if you have questions or concerns regarding your ticket or honors designation.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.