University of Tennessee President Joe Johnson will pull double duty at UT-Knoxville’s commencement Friday.
He will give the commencement speech and then confer degrees to the approximately 2,900 spring semester graduates. The ceremony is set for 9 a.m. in Thompson-Boling arena.
As president, Johnson awards degrees to students at UT’s four campuses. With his upcoming retirement from the presidency in July, UT-Knoxville Chancellor Bill Snyder said he thought it appropriate to ask Johnson to give the address at his last commencement ceremony as president.
”In his 38 years at the university, Dr. Johnson has seen the institution from many different perspectives,” Snyder said. ”He was a student, a graduate teaching assistant, and he has held about every administrative position imaginable.
”I think he will bring great insight to the graduates and their families and friends.”
Johnson became UT-s 19th president in 1991, and under his leadership UT-s 21st Century Campaign raised more than $430 million. He also chairs Knoxville Promise, a group dedicated to helping children.
UT-Knoxville will award 1,908 undergraduate degrees, 807 graduate degrees, 144 law degrees, and 55 degrees in veterinary medicine.
Parents, relatives and friends of graduates are advised to come early to avoid traffic congestion. Parking will be in the G-10 garage beside the arena, which is best entered off Neyland Drive. Parking for persons with disabilities will be available in G10. UT Police will assist with parking in these areas.
Additional parking is available in lots C-17 and C-18 behind Neyland Stadium, lot C6 on top of the Lake Loudoun parking garage, and lot 30 behind the Communications Building.