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KNOXVILLE — Fall commencement exercises for the University of Tennessee are set for 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Thompson Boling Assembly Center and Arena. Sam Venable, longtime humor columnist and editor at the News Sentinel, will deliver the keynote address.

Sam Venable

Venable, a Knoxville native and graduate of UT, served as the News Sentinel’s outdoors editor for 15 years before assuming his current position as the paper’s humor columnist in 1985. Before he joined the News Sentinel staff, Venable worked as a police reporter and feature writer for the Knoxville Journal and the Chattanooga Free Press.

In addition to his extensive newspaper work, Venable has made a name for himself as an author, penning nine books, contributing to two other books and writing more than 150 periodicals. He also has earned more than three dozen writing awards. His use of humor has made him a popular speaker at meetings and dinner events.

A graduate student hooding ceremony will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16 at Thompson Boling Arena. During the ceremony, graduate degrees will be awarded to all master’s, specialists in education and doctoral candidates. All students and their guests can park in the G-10 parking garage between Neyland Stadium and the Arena.

Public parking for the general commencement ceremony will be available in the following areas: G-10 (enter from Neyland Drive), C-17, C-18, and C-3. Non-commuter and commuter lots will be available as well. Handicapped parking will be available in G-10.

For more information regarding commencement visit or call the UT Registrar’s office (865) 974-2101.

For more information regarding the hooding ceremony visit or call the UT Office of Graduate Studies at (865) 974-2475.