Commencement News

Former VP Gore to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UT Knoxville

Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will be honored by UT Knoxville with only the third honorary degree granted by the campus. Gore will receive the degree — an Honorary Doctor of Laws and Humane Letters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology — at the spring commencement exercises of the College of Arts and Sciences on May 14. He will be the featured speaker at the ceremony, addressing graduates and their families along with the gathered faculty.

ORNL Director Mason Offers Advice to UT Graduates

Our world has big problems and we need intelligent, educated people to solve them. That was the message shared by Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who addressed approximately 1,000 University of Tennessee, Knoxville, undergraduate students who participated in fall commencement today at Thompson-Boling Arena.

First Female Brigadier General from UT’s ROTC to Commission Cadets

Col. Robin Akin, the first former UT female cadet to be selected for the rank of brigadier general, will return to campus on Friday, Dec. 11, to commission two current ROTC cadets as second lieutenants in the Army. Akin also will speak during the ceremony, which will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The event is open to the public.

ORNL Director to Speak at UT Fall Commencement

Thomas Mason, director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and president and CEO of UT-Battelle, LLC, will be the featured speaker at UT Knoxville fall commencement. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13, in Thompson-Boling Arena. More than 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students who have completed degree programs during the summer or fall semester will be awarded diplomas.

Gastronomical Graduation: 16 Complete UT Culinary Institute Program

Sixteen food enthusiasts — college students, retirees and working professionals in a variety of fields, including some already in the food service industry — graduated Wednesday, Dec. 2, from the Culinary Institute at UT Knoxville. This is the fifth class to graduate from the institute since it started in October 2007.

UT Knoxville Video Featured on Front Page of YouTube

Dolly Parton’s speech to the 2009 graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences was one of four commencement videos featured on the front page of YouTube.com recently, resulting in great exposure for UT Knoxville.

Soldier-daughter Surprise Reunion at Arts and Sciences Commencement Brings Audience to Feet, Tears

For Jennifer Willis, a graduate in the College of Arts and Sciences, Commencement was particularly bittersweet. Though she was surrounded by family and friends, one important person was missing from the audience: her father, Staff Sgt. Timothy Willis. What Jennifer didn’t know was that her father’s chain of command approved his request to start his leave early so he could see her graduate in person.

Capacity Crowd Expected Friday for Arts and Sciences Commencement

UT Knoxville will give East Tennessee native and acclaimed musician Dolly Parton an honorary doctorate degree during the College of Arts and Sciences Commencement ceremony, 9 a.m. Friday, May 8, at Thompson-Boling Arena. Graduates and their guests are expected to fill the arena to capacity.