UT Trustee Spruell Driver to Deliver Fall Commencement Address

Spruell Driver Jr.University of Tennessee fall graduates will receive their degrees at the commencement ceremony set for 9 a.m. Dec. 15 in the newly renovated Thompson Boling Arena & Assembly Center. 

UT Knoxville alumnus Spruell Driver, a member of the UT Board of Trustees and past president of the UT National Alumni Association, will address the graduates. Driver is an attorney with Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis LLP in Nashville and focuses on commercial real estate and finance law.

More than 2,700 UT undergraduate and graduate students who have completed degree programs during the summer or fall semester will be awarded diplomas at the conclusion of the fall semester. Seven graduates will receive commissions as second lieutenants in the United States Army.

Appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to the UT Board of Trustees in 2005, Driver is chair of the Advancement and Public Affairs Committee and a member of the Executive and Compensation Committee.

"We are delighted to hear from Spruell, a man who is a ‘volunteer’ in the truest sense of the word," said Chancellor Loren Crabtree. "He has given of himself to the university and to the state of Tennessee since his graduation, and we are proud to call him one of our own. I hope his comments will prompt our graduates to stay as involved with UT as he has."

Driver graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and was named a Torchbearer, the highest honor for UTK students. He graduated from Duke Law School in 1991 and accepted a position as a corporate attorney with Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn.

Driver returned to his native Nashville in 1996 to join the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell PC. Driver was named a legislative attorney for the Tennessee General Assembly in 1998. In that role, he served as special counsel to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and worked closely with the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee, the House Budget Subcommittee, the House Conservation and Environment Committee, the Senate Environment, Conservation and Tourism Committee and the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators.

In 2000, Driver was appointed director of the Judicial Education and Program Services Division of the Administrative Office of the Tennessee Supreme Court. He managed statewide programs in alternative dispute resolution, judicial education, court improvement and court reporting services. In 2002, Driver returned to private legal practice, joining the firm Miller & Martin PLLC.

Driver served as president of the UT National Alumni Association in 2004-05. He traveled throughout the state and beyond representing the university’s more than 300,000 alumni. Upon completing his term, Driver served as national chair of the association’s Annual Giving Program in 2005-06. Driver also has served on the UT College of Engineering Board of Advisers.

Parking is available at any area on campus. Parking for disabled persons is available in the Neyland Drive Garage (G-10). For a campus parking map, visit http://www.utk.edu/maps/campus.

For more information regarding the ceremony, call the registrar’s office at (865) 974-2101 or visit http://registrar.tennessee.edu/graduation/.

The ceremony will be webcast live and archived for future viewing at http://www.utk.edu/commencement.