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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will celebrate spring graduation this week with a series of college ceremonies and a university-wide celebration.

Each college holds a ceremony for its graduates, faculty and staff. Attendance at the college ceremonies, which began in 2004, has grown each year. Students say they appreciate the smaller, more personal settings and the involvement of faculty and traditions of their own colleges.

College ceremonies will be held at several campus locations, as well as the Knoxville Convention Center.

The Kickoff to Commencement event, to be held Thursday, May 8, is open to spring and summer graduates, their families and UT employees. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Torchbearer with Aloha Oe, a traditional UT ceremony signifying graduates’ continuing journey and reminding them of their pledge to serve the university and the community.

The event continues on the Pedestrian Mall and includes a first-come, first-served casual dinner and gifts as well as an outdoor concert featuring the Memphis-based band Ingram Hill.

In the event of rain, Aloha Oe will be canceled, but Kickoff to Commencement will continue as scheduled with accommodations made for weather conditions.

The combination of a Kickoff to Commencement celebration and smaller ceremonies began last year when a university-wide ceremony could not be held because of renovations to Thompson-Boling Arena. The format was so successful, a similar plan was adopted for this year, Interim Chancellor Jan Simek said.

The college ceremony schedule is listed below.

Wednesday, May 7
-Veterinary Medicine: 8 p.m., Alumni Memorial Auditorium. Contact James Brace, (865) 974-7263.

Thursday, May 8
-Chancellor’s Honors Reception: 10 a.m., University Center Ballroom. Contact Mary Ann Bright, (865) 974-7875.

-Audiology and Speech Pathology: 11 a.m., Alumni Memorial Auditorium. Contact Patricia Visser, (865) 974-5019.

-Nursing: 1 p.m., Thompson-Boling Arena. Contact Missy Raby, (865) 974-7583.

-Architecture and Design: 1 p.m., Clarence Brown Theatre. Contact Sissy Lugman, (865) 974-5265.

-Graduate Hooding: 4:30 p.m., Thompson-Boling Arena. Contact Kay Reed, (865) 974-2475.

Friday, May 9
-Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources: 9 a.m., Knoxville Convention Center. Contact Angie Berry, (865) 974-7303.

-Arts and Sciences: 9 a.m., Thompson-Boling Arena. Contact Heather Cockrum, (865) 974-4377.

-Education, Health and Human Sciences: 9:30 a.m., Knoxville Convention Center. Contact Glenda Noe, (865) 974-5063.

-Social Work: 1:30 p.m., Alumni Memorial Auditorium. Contact Natalie Crippen, (865) 974-3353.

-Communication and Information: 2 p.m., Knoxville Convention Center. Contact Sherry McNair, (865) 974-1540.

-Engineering: 2:30 p.m., Knoxville Convention Center. Contact Angela McCarter, (865) 974-2454.

-Business Administration: 3 p.m., Thompson-Boling Arena. Contact Tara Norris, (865)974-2341.

-Law: 6 p.m., Knoxville Convention Center. Contact Teresa Peterson, (865) 974-6784.

Special parking and shuttle arrangements will be provided to support the college ceremonies and hoodings scheduled on May 7, 8 and 9. Graduates and their guests may park for free in university student parking areas throughout the campus. For more detailed parking information, visit http://web.utk.edu/~pso/.

For more information on commencement ceremonies, visit http://registrar.tennessee.edu/graduation/ or contact the university registrar’s office at (865) 974-2101.

For more information on Kickoff to Commencement, visit http://www.utk.edu/kickoff or contact Beth Gladden at (865) 974-2225 or bgladden@utk.edu.

Beth Gladden, (865) 974-9008 or bgladden@utk.edu