Commencement 2014: Cords and Commissioning

During this week’s commencement ceremonies, many students will be wearing special graduation cords and medallions in honor of their leadership and service on campus, in the community, and throughout the world.

Also during commencement, nineteen students will be commissioned as second lieutenants into the United States armed forces. The Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC programs will hold commissioning ceremonies this week, and each graduate will be recognized during their college commencement ceremony.

Center for Leadership and Service Recognizes Students

Graduating students who volunteered through the Center for Leadership and Service will wear a cord or medallion to signify the time they spent giving back to the local community.

The medallion will be worn by nineteen graduating seniors who tracked 100 hours of service through the center’s online service and volunteer hour tracking system.

Graduating students who tracked one to ninety-nine hours with the center were able to purchase purple and red cords to wear at commencement. The purple symbolizes the passion of service and giving back to others, while the red signifies the ability to put leadership into action. Money collected from the cords will fund future leaders and servants through programs including Ignite, Alternative Breaks, Leadership Knoxville Scholars, and Emerging Leaders.

At least twenty-five students have purchased cords to wear.

In less than two years since the center’s formation, UT students have logged almost 38,000 hours of service.

Office of Veterans Affairs Honors 57 Veterans

A select group of students will be wearing special graduation cords in honor of their service in the United States armed forces. The cords are red, white, and blue and serve as a token of appreciation from UT’s Office of Veterans Affairs.

There are more than fifty-seven veterans, reservists, and National Guard members graduating from the university this spring and summer in various colleges as undergraduate and graduate students.

In 2013, UT was ranked fifteenth in the nation among all public and private universities in US News and World Report’s inaugural rankings for Best Colleges for Veterans.

Army ROTC Commissions Nine Cadets

Nine students will be commissioned from the UT Army ROTC Rocky Top Battalion during their commissioning ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 9, in the McClung Museum Auditorium, 1327 Circle Park Drive.

The following cadets will be commissioned as second lieutenants into the United States Army and will serve in the designated areas:

Cadet Abigail Blount, Aviation
Cadet Thomas Chitwood, Infantry
Cadet Adam Counts, Field Artillery
Cadet Ryan Eckerson, Aviation
Cadet Bernard Graves, Engineer
Cadet Daniel Leininger, Infantry
Cadet Jessica McGuire, Field Artillery
Cadet Emily Merrick, Signal
Cadet Bradley Smith, Engineer

Cadet Abigail Blount will be presented with the First Lieutenant Thomas J. Williams Jr. Memorial Scholarship for her outstanding performance and dedication to the Rocky Top Battalion. ROTC officials say Blount’s hard work, enthusiasm, and commitment to excellence exemplified the personality and spirit of First Lieutenant Thomas J. Williams, Jr., a UT Army ROTC class of 2007 graduate who passed away in 2011.

Air Force ROTC Commissions 10 Cadets

Ten students will be commissioned from the UT Air Force ROTC during their commissioning ceremony at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, May 8, in Room 32 of the Alumni Memorial Building, 1408 Middle Drive.

The following cadets will be commissioned as second lieutenants into the United States Air Force and will serve in the designated areas:

Cadet Brandon Abrao, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Officer
Cadet Stephanie Boone, Air Force Institute of Technology
Cadet Phillip Butler, Pilot Training
Cadet Alexandra Gibson, Combat Support Officer
Cadet Harrison Jerrolds, Pilot Training
Cadet Noah Linwood, Aircraft Maintenance Officer
Cadet Henry Loewenkamp, Space Operations Officer
Cadet Joshua Raegan, Cyberspace Operations Officer
Cadet Anderson Shelton, II, Intelligence Officer
Cadet Cheyenne White, Aircraft Maintenance Officer

UT’s spring commencement ceremonies begin Wednesday, May 7, and continue through Saturday, May 10.

For the full schedule and other important commencement information, visit the commencement website.

C O N T A C T :

Katherine Saxon (865-974-8365, ksaxon@utk.edu)

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