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Commencement for Spring and Summer grads in Thompson-Boling Assembly Center and Arena

Earlier today, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Chancellor Donde Plowman announced plans for in-person commencement ceremonies in May to celebrate spring and summer 2021 graduates.

Five socially distanced ceremonies, including a graduate and professional hooding ceremony, will take place May 7–9 in Neyland Stadium. Any 2020 graduates who have not yet taken part in an in-person ceremony are also invited to participate.

“I am excited for our graduates to hear their names called in Neyland Stadium. It’s been a challenging year, and I’m so glad we can reward their resilience and persistence with this unique experience. It will be a very special few days for all of us,” said Plowman.

Ceremonies are scheduled by academic college. Details are still being finalized, but the university plans to have 1,000 graduates in each ceremony with a limited number of guests for each graduate. Everyone will be required to wear a face covering, stay socially distanced, and follow additional safety precautions.

After consulting with health experts, university officials determined that they can safely hood graduate and professional students with a few modifications during the hooding ceremony.

“We know how hard our students have worked, and all of us are thrilled to have this opportunity to celebrate together,” said Provost John Zomchick. “We are still in the middle of a pandemic, so having a socially distanced outdoor experience in Neyland Stadium provides both a safe and meaningful ceremony.”

All eligible graduates received an email today with instructions on how to register. Registration for 2021 graduates opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 3. Registration for 2020 graduates opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 10. Graduates must register by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 1.

For more information on this year’s ceremonies, visit the commencement website.


Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993,