UT Summer Commencement Ends 58-Year Tradition

KNOXVILLE — A 58-year practice begun in the heat of World War II will come to an end when the University of Tennessee holds its final summer graduation ceremony Aug. 10.

UT Associate Vice President Betsey Creekmore said the university has held commencement every quarter or semester since March 1943, when 130 Reserve Officer Training Corps received degrees early so they could report to the Army.

“Prior to that time, UT had held one commencement in June for all those who had completed the requirements for various degrees during the preceding year,” Creekmore said.

Richard Bayer, UT dean of admissions and records, said about 1,620 degrees are to be conferred this summer, and nearly a thousand students are expected to participate in the 9 a.m. ceremony at Thompson Boling Arena.

Future graduation ceremonies will be held only in December and May, Bayer said. A UT graduation committee recommended the change to streamline and dignify university graduation rites, he said.

Harry Moskos, retiring editor of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, will deliver the commencement address.

Moskos, News-Sentinel editor since 1984, will retire Jan. 31, 2002, after 50 years in journalism. The Chicago native, started working at the Albuquerque Tribune while in high school. He joined the Associated Press as a reporter in 1960, and in 1963 he was named chief of the AP’s Honolulu bureau. At age 26, he was the youngest person ever to head an AP bureau.

While in Hawaii he covered French nuclear testing in the South Pacific and set up the world’s first two-satellite transmission of a news picture.

Moskos served as managing editor of the Albuquerque Tribune and editor of the El Paso Herald-Post before coming to Knoxville, where he has been recognized for his commitment to racial diversity in the media and community.