On Tuesday, May 5, nearly 600 soon-to-be graduates gathered on the lawn of Ayres Hall for the annual Aloha Oe ceremony. Aloha Oe is a campus tradition that started in 1926. Despite changes to the ceremony over the years, its purpose remains the same: to give the graduating seniors a meaningful conclusion to their undergraduate years. Soon-to-be-graduates light candles and pass the “Torch of Service” to their fellow students to inspire them to be leaders in their communities.
Seniors process onto the Ayres Hall lawn prior to the ceremony. The group met at the Alumni Memorial Building and walked to the top of the Hill.
Many of the students personalized their graduation caps—this one is decorated with lyrics from “Rocky Top.”
Seniors gather on the Ayres Hall lawn for Aloha Oe.
Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek speaks to soon-to-be graduates gathered for the Aloha Oe ceremony on Tuesday, May 5, on the lawn of Ayres Hall. From left to right, Daniel Richter, SGA chief of staff; Kelsey Keny, SGA president; Melissa Shivers, associate vice chancellor for student life and dean of students; Cheek; Rick Kuhlman, guest speaker, alumnus and director of Knoxville Fellows; and Andre Agassi, president of UT’s Mortar Board.
Fireworks close the Aloha Oe ceremony. Students gathered afterward for a reception and to take photographs.
For more information on the Aloha Oe ceremony, visit the Aloha Oe website.
For more information on the 2015 commencement activities, visit the Commencement website.