Honorary Degrees, Notable Speakers Highlight Spring Commencements

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Graduates at UT's Fall 2012 commencement ceremonyPlease note: Opera singer Mary Costa was to have received an Honorary Doctor of Humane and Musical Letters at the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony, but will be unable to attend. Her honorary doctorate will be awarded at a later date.

UT will award two honorary degrees and welcome a host of accomplished speakers at this spring’s commencement ceremonies, which begin May 8.

Honorary degrees will be awarded to renowned journalist John Seigenthaler at the College of Law commencement and to opera singer Mary Costa, known as the voice of Sleeping Beauty, at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement. Read more about the recipients in Tennessee Today.

More than 3,730 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees at thirteen college ceremonies this spring.

Graduates and their guests can park free in university student parking areas throughout the campus, but should avoid parking in staff lots.

Commencement ceremonies will be webcast.

Webcast links are included below. For information about parking and other details, visit the commencement website.

Below is a list of the commencement ceremonies and speakers. All events take place in Thompson-Boling Arena unless otherwise specified:

WEDNESDAY, MAY 8

  • 8:30 a.m.—College of Nursing. The speaker is Julie Worley, a nursing doctoral student who has a private psychiatry practice. She teaches online at Rush University in Chicago and will be a full-time assistant professor and researcher at Rush after graduation. View the webcast here.
  • 11:30 a.m.—College of Engineering. Alumnus Dwight Hutchins, the global managing director of Accenture’s Health and Public Service Strategy practice, will speak. View the webcast here.
  • 3:30 p.m.—College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Missy Kane, a former Olympian, a Pan American Games medalist, and a former UT track coach, will speak. She is now a fitness promotion coordinator for Covenant Health. View the webcast here.

THURSDAY, MAY 9

  • 8:30 a.m.—College of Communication and Information. The speaker is alumna Monica Langley, an author and senior special writer for The Wall Street Journal. View the webcast here.
  • 11 a.m. —Audiology and Speech Pathology. Cox Auditorium in Alumni Memorial Building
  • 1:00 p.m.—College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Alumnus Donnie Smith, president and chief executive officer of Tyson Food, will speak. View the webcast here.
  • 4:30 p.m.—Graduate Hooding. Amanda Sanford, fifth-year doctoral candidate in political science and president of the Graduate Student Senate, will speak. The Graduate School expects about 300 master’s students and 100 doctoral students to take part in the ceremony. View the webcast here.

FRIDAY, MAY 10

  • 9:00 a.m.—College of Arts and Sciences. Costa will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane and Musical Letters and speak briefly. The speaker is alumna Margaret Scobey, former US Ambassador to Egypt and longtime diplomat. She is now deputy commandant, international affairs advisor, Industrial College of the Armed Forces. View the webcast here.
  • 2:00 p.m.—College of Business Administration. Mark A. Emkes, Tennessee Commissioner of Finance and Administration and retired chairman, chief executive officer and president of Bridgestone Americas Inc., will speak. View the webcast here.
  • 5:00 p.m.—College of Law. Seigenthaler will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree and speak briefly. US Sen. Lamar Alexander, who served as Tennessee’s governor, president of the University of Tennessee and US Secretary of Education, will speak. View the webcast here.

SATURDAY, MAY 11

  • 10:00 a.m.—College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Patricia Sura, who completed her residency at the College of Veterinary Medicine and was an assistant professor of surgery for six years, will speak. Sura now practices at a veterinary hospital in Kentucky.
  • 5:00 p.m.—College of Architecture and Design Hooding Ceremony. The speaker is alumna Robin Klehr Avia, regional managing principal and chair of the board at Gensler, an internationally acclaimed design firm. View the webcast here.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)

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