Siblings Todd and Amy Skelton share both a passion for the law and a passion for running. This week, both are sprinting toward the graduate school finish line. Todd is graduating in the dual JD/MBA program with concentrations in transaction and finance; Amy is getting her law degree.
More than 650 students attended Tuesday evening’s Aloha Oe ceremony, one of the university’s oldest graduation traditions, at Ayres Hall. The farewell service invited graduating seniors to gather one last time before their separate commencement ceremonies to say goodbye to the university and pledge their loyalty to UT. Soon-to-be-graduates light candles and pass the “Torch of Service” to their fellow seniors to inspire them to be leaders in their communities. The first Aloha Oe was held in May 1926 on Shields-Watkins Field and featured a muddy game of tug-of-war, students in grass skirts, and ukuleles.
As young children, siblings Goran and Nina Musinovic were forced to flee from their home in Sarajevo, Bosnia, during the civil war in Yugoslavia. Supporting each other along the way, they immigrated to America, overcame the language barrier, excelled as undergraduates at UT, and went on to study in the College of Law. Goran graduated in 2009 and today his sister, Nina, receives her law degree.
When Katherine Waxstein graduates this week, she’ll leave behind some work for others to do. As part of a volunteer project, Waxstein developed a leadership program for elementary school students that’s been so successful it has been turned into a university course that will be taught in the fall. Waxstein has completed a double major in child and family studies and psychology.
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.
A group of UT students and faculty has won the second phase of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s P3: People, Prosperity, and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability. Their project will receive up to $90,000 in grant funding to turn the designs into real-world applications and implement them in the marketplace.
Two students will be the first to earn a new doctoral degree Thursday from the Energy Science and Engineering program founded by former governor Phil Bredesen in partnership with UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Batman may be a superhero crime-fighter, but inside he’s Bruce Wayne—a regular guy who has seen trial and triumph. Born with a vision impairment, Christian Darnell, who graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences on Friday with a degree in theater, identifies with that inner strength. Darnell was born with oculocutaneous albinism, a condition that affects pigmentation of the skin, hair, and eyes and classifies him as being legally blind.
Students who request testing accommodations and faculty who approve them will now find the process available online, thanks to a new system being implemented by the Office of Disability Services. This comprehensive data management system is designed to meet the specialized needs of the office. It simplifies the scheduling of appointments, exams, rooms, and resources with a focus on ease of use and flexibility.
Improving global health care. Designing better medical equipment. Revolutionizing the food industry. Teaching English in France. Those are just a few of the ways graduating Haslam Scholars plan to leave their mark on society after graduating. The Class of 2014 includes thirteen students from the university’s premier scholarship program. The graduates say the Haslam Scholars program challenged them academically, gave them a chance to work alongside leading faculty members, and afforded them the opportunity to travel and participate in extracurricular projects.