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The University of Tennessee, 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.

The ceremony can be viewed via live feed beginning at 9 a.m. in the University Center Auditorium, on the Web at, and on UTTV (campus cable channel 65, Comcast Digital channel 194).

Governor Phil Bredesen will join acting UT President Jan Simek and Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek for the commencement.

Due to this tremendous response, the event will be unable to accommodate other Knoxville-area UT faculty and staff or the general public. The university’s first priority is to accommodate the college’s graduates and their families and guests. All attendees must have tickets in order to enter the ceremony, and tickets already have been distributed to Arts and Sciences graduates.

With the ongoing road and utility construction around the arena, as well as increased traffic for the Arts and Sciences Commencement, faculty and staff should expect delays in traffic surrounding the campus. Though graduates and their guests are encouraged to take advantage of free shuttles and the Neyland Parking Garage (G10), employees may also experience difficulty in parking in their assigned lots. Faculty and staff who normally park near the arena or near commuter lots should plan accordingly. More information on parking for the College of Arts and Sciences’ commencement is available at