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The university will begin following standard security protocol for large crowds for all commencement ceremonies scheduled May 12-14 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

A complete schedule of the ceremonies can be found here.

Graduates, their families, and other attendees should be aware that it may take longer to get into Thompson-Boling Arena and build a few extra minutes into their arrival plan.

Here are some tips to expedite entry into the arena:

  • Do not carry bags or purses unless necessary.
  • Carry cameras without bags.
  • If graduates are wearing a robe, leave it unzipped while passing through security.
  • Have purses and bags open and ready for inspection when approaching security.

“Commencement ceremonies are large events, and a few extra precautions will help ensure these are happy and safe celebrations for everyone,” said UT Police Chief Troy Lane. “Anyone who’s been to a basketball game or a concert at Thompson-Boling Arena is familiar with our safety protocol. We ask families to plan accordingly, follow directions and be patient as we get everyone into the arena and seated.”

Free parking is available for all graduates and their guests in student parking areas, including:

  • The G-10 Garage located next to Thompson-Boling Arena (enter from Neyland Drive or Phillip Fulmer Way) or any student surface parking lot that displays a sign with the letter “C” or “N” (e.g., C-6).
  • Accessible parking spaces are available in the G-10 Parking Garage and in many other UT parking lots.

Parking is prohibited in all staff parking areas (marked S) for Thursday and Friday ceremonies.


Karen Simsen (865-974-5186,