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Commencement Information


2019 Spring and Summer graduates

Steps to Graduation

  • Apply to graduate in myUTK after 90 completed hours.
  • Students will receive an invitation in the mail from the college during the spring semester (typically February).
  • Caps and gowns can be purchased in the VolShop on campus.
  • RSVP to participate in the commencement ceremony by April 30.

When: Friday, May 10, 2019, 8:30 a.m.

Where: Thompson-Boling Arena
1600 Phillip Fulmer Way
Knoxville, TN 37996

Commencement Speaker:  Keith CarverThe 2019 commencement speaker will be Keith Carver. Carver just completed his second year as the 11th chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Martin.  Under his leadership, UT Martin has experienced exciting growth and a renewed energy about the future.

Celebrating 21 years of service at the University of Tennessee, Carver previously served as executive assistant to the president from January 2011 to December 2016. Prior to that, he held roles at UT campuses in Knoxville, Martin, and Memphis, including serving as interim vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs at UT Health Science Center and assistant vice chancellor for development at UT Martin. He held several positions at UT Knoxville including director of development and alumni affairs for the College of Law, program director for the Office of Student Activities, and co-director of TeamVOLS (community outreach and service program).

Carver has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Memphis, a master’s degree in College Student Personnel from UT Knoxville, and a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from UT Knoxville. His doctoral dissertation was titled, “A Study of Presidential Derailment in Public Research Universities.”

Carver and his wife, Hollianne, are the parents of a daughter, Carson, and two sons, Jack Thomas (J.T.) and Britton.

CEHHS COMMENCEMENT: All participating May and August degree candidates must check-in for the ceremony by 7:45 AM on Friday, May 10th and should be seated by 8:00 AMThe ceremony will be held in Thompson-Boling Arena and will begin with the faculty processional promptly at 8:30 AM.  The ceremony will last approximately 2 hours.  If you arrive to commencement after 8:25 AM, you will need to wait at the check-in table located at the southeast end of the arena to be seated after the National Anthem.

TICKETS: April 29th-May 1st from 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm

SECURITY: The arena’s large-event security protocol will be enforced at all commencement ceremonies.  Guests will be allowed to enter the arena with one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Walk-through metal detectors will be in place and operational at all arena entrances. Please allow additional time for entry.  Please see the entire security policy here and share this information with your guests.

PARKING: Graduates and their guests may park for free in university student parking areas throughout campus, but should avoid parking in staff parking areas.  UT’s G-10 Parking Garage (1500 Phillip Fulmer Way) is typically a good option.  Please see the header below for additional information for participants or guests with mobility/accessibility concerns.

SEATING:  Candidates will be seated alphabetically with their academic departments.  There will be markers on the floor with departments/row numbers and staff available to assist with seating.  Men will be asked to remove their caps during the National Anthem.

CONFERRAL OF DEGREES: All candidates will rise for the conferral of degrees prior to walking across the stage.  A senior UT representative will confer the degrees of the candidates.  Undergraduates will begin the ceremony wearing their tassel on the right side of their mortarboard (graduation cap).  The representative will ask all participants to stand and will direct you to move your tassel from the right to the left at the appropriate time during the ceremony.


WALKING ACROSS THE STAGE: Following the conferral of degrees, candidates will walk across the stage as their name is announced and shake hands with the Dean of the College and the Provost.  The first row of candidates will be asked to rise and will be guided to the stage at the appropriate time.  As the last person in the row nears the aisle, the second row will rise and join the march to the side of the stage.  This process, assisted by staff, will continue until all rows have progressed.  It is imperative that you take your ticket to the stage and hand it to the announcer who will then call your name as you walk across the stage

After you walk across the stage, you will be guided behind a black curtain on the southwest end of the arena to take additional photographs.  It is important that you stay in the same order you were in when your name was called to assist the photographers.  Following your photo, you will be guided back to your seat through the center aisle of the floor.

COMMENCEMENT DAY PHOTOGRAPHS: You will be photographed while shaking the Dean’s hand while crossing the stage.  There is no reason to stop for this photo.  However, for best results, we do recommend that you pull your tassel (as well as any long hair) 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.

Your images should post online within 2-3 days and a proof will be mailed to your home.  If desired, you may request enlargements online or by mail.  However, there is no obligation to order any enlargements and the proof is yours to keep regardless.  If you have any questions, please contact Grad Images at 1-800-261-2576.

RESTROOM BREAKS:  We encourage you to use the restrooms located on the arena floor between 7:45 and 8:15 AM.  If you must, you may also use the restroom after having your picture taken and returning to the arena floor towards your seat.  An usher will then direct you to the northeast side of the arena.  Waiting until after you have returned to the main arena floor following your photo will significantly help the photographers.

DECORUM: Please remember that commencement is a formal academic ceremony and appropriate decorum is expected of graduates and their guests.  Banners/large signs that obstruct the view of others and inappropriate decorations on mortarboards will not be permitted.

LIVE STREAMING OF THE CEREMONY:  Commencement ceremonies will be live streamed in both captioned and non-captioned formats.  The link to the live-streaming website will be provided here as the event gets closer. For the captioned live-stream, please click here.  You can also follow the event on social media using #utgrad2019.



INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPANTS OR GUESTS WITH A DISABILITY:  Please click here for accessible parking and seating information.  If you are a graduating student with an accessibility concern, please fill out the appropriate section on the RSVP link or contact Annette Beets at  A sign language interpreter will be projected on the large screens provided during commencement.  A braille copy of the commencement program is available upon request by contacting Student Disability Services at (865) 974-6087.

STUDENTS GRADUATING WITH HONORS:  April 29th-May 1st from 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm


CONFIRMATION OF DEGREES AND DIPLOMAS:  Can be found on the Registrar’s webpage

CAREER PROFILE: The university requests that graduating students complete a “Career Profile” to share plans about their next steps when leaving the university (e.g., graduate school, full-time job, internship, still seeking).

MULTICULTURAL GRADUATION CELEBRATION: This information will be available at a later date.


QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS: The CEHHS Office of Advising and Students Services will have a table set up behind the curtains on the southeast side of the arena floor starting at 6 PM. Please see a staff member at the table if you have questions or concerns regarding your ticket or honors designation.  Additionally, you can contact our office Mon – Fri between 8 AM and 5 PM by calling 865-974-8194.

More information on commencement at the University of Tennessee is available from the registrar’s office.

Fall graduates will participate in the university wide commencement ceremony. Details are available from the registrar’s office.