The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will host 11 commencement ceremonies May 18-20 as it welcomes more than 5,000 graduates into its alumni family. These Volunteers will begin their next chapters uniquely prepared to serve and lead.
“Graduation is a joyous occasion for our graduates, their loved ones and those who have supported them during their time at UT,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick. “It gives all of us the opportunity to reflect on our graduates’ remarkable achievements and celebrate their resilience, dedication and hard work. On behalf of the entire university leadership team, I want to express how pleased we are to have been part of their academic journey and wish them luck in the next stage of their lives.”
This spring, the university will award approximately 5,420 degrees and certificates: 3,952 undergraduate degrees and 1,468 graduate degrees and certificates. Ceremonies for each academic college will take place in Thompson-Boling Arena, with one hooding ceremony for those receiving graduate and professional degrees and certificates. Additionally, 17 Air Force ROTC cadets and 15 Army ROTC cadets will be commissioned. The Army ROTC commissioning ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, May 19, in the Sandra Powell Recital Hall of the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center. The Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, in the Student Union Pilot Company Ballroom. Commissioning recognizes a cadet’s transition from student to military officer.
Dates and times for each ceremony are available on the commencement website. All ceremonies will be webcast live for those who are unable to attend in person.
This year’s commencement speakers include prominent alumni, business leaders and distinguished experts in addition to members of the graduating class: Patrick Angelaccio and Victoria Abigail Powell for the College of Social Work, Brianna Mason Broady (’17, ’18) for the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, Keith Carver (’95, ’09) for the Herbert College of Agriculture, Chad Goldman (’93) for the College of Arts and Sciences, Hash Hashemian (’77) for the Tickle College of Engineering, R. Michael Hendrix (’94) for the College of Architecture and Design, Sharon Lee (’75, ’78) for the College of Law, Ryan McGee (’93) for the College of Communication and Information, and Shelly Sun (’92) for the Haslam College of Business.
Andrew Cushing, a clinical associate professor of zoo animal medicine, delivered the commencement address at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s commencement and hooding ceremony on Saturday, May 6.
Brianna Mason Broady
Brianna Mason Broady received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in elementary education from UT in 2017. She followed that in 2018 with a master’s in teacher education. Broady was crowned Miss Tennessee in 2019 and was the first Black woman to represent the state at the Miss America pageant. As a UT student, she started a nonprofit student organization, Advocates for Autism, which promotes inclusion and education for students with autism. Through the organization, she was able to award the first Laurette Scholarship to a student in UT’s FUTURE program and will add a second award this year. She is a 2022 recipient of UT’s Alumni Promise Award.
Broady is a first-grade teacher at Bellshire Design Center in Nashville. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Terrell Broady Jr. (’17, ’18). Together they have a newborn son, Terrell Broady III. Her hobbies include traveling with family, cooking, learning from YouTube, and spending time with her family and two cats, Knight and Neyland.
Ryan McGee graduated from UT with a degree in communication and media studies in 1993. He began working with ESPN shortly after, serving on the production staffs of “SportsCenter” and “RPM2Night” and contributing to ESPN The Magazine. He worked as a show producer for FOX Sports Net from 2001 to 2002 and was editor-in-chief at NASCAR Productions for five years, where he wrote the script for the documentary film “Dale.” McGee has been a senior writer at ESPN since 2007. He is a five-time Sports Emmy Award winner, a seven-time National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year, and a member of the College of Communication and Information Board of Visitors. McGee has authored five books, including the New York Times bestseller “Racing to the Finish” with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
McGee lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, Erica — whom he met in class at UT — and daughter, Tara.
Parking and Security Information
Graduates and their guests can park free of charge in university student parking areas throughout campus but should avoid parking in staff parking areas. Visit the UT Parking and Transit website for more details.
The university’s clear bag policy will be enforced. Security screenings will be in place and guests will be screened on entry by event security staff. Binoculars, cameras and video cameras are permissible without cases. Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is prohibited in and on all university property, including in private vehicles parked or in operation on university property.
For more information on what items are allowed and prohibited in the stadium as well as security policies, visit the commencement website.
Torch Night: A Farewell to Thee
On May 17, graduates will have the opportunity to participate in Torch Night: A Farewell to Thee, one of UT’s oldest traditions. During the ceremony, graduates symbolically receive the Torch of Service, pledging to serve both the university and their community as responsible and loyal alumni. The event will take place at 8 p.m. on the Ayres Hall lawn.
Maggie Palmer (865-974-3993, email@example.com)
Erica Estep (865-974-2225, firstname.lastname@example.org)