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Graduation weekend kicks off at University of Tennessee

Friday was the first out of 11 commencement ceremonies to be held inside Thompson-Boling Arena over the weekend.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 11:31 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The University of Tennessee is rolling out the red carpet for 5,250 graduates this weekend!

Friday was the first out of 11 commencement ceremonies to be held inside Thompson-Boling Arena over the weekend.

This spring, the university will award 3,816 undergraduate degrees, 1,229 graduate degrees and certificates, 122 law degrees, and 83 veterinary medicine degrees.

A separate Army ROTC commissioning ceremony took place after Friday’s ceremony for the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences ceremony. During the commissioning ceremony, 23 Army ROTC cadets were commissioned. On Saturday, May 21st 14 Air Force ROTC cadets will be commissioned during a ceremony.

Some of the weekend’s commencement speakers include Lady Vol for life and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings. Catchings said it felt good to be back on campus, speaking to the graduating class of 2022 during Friday’s ceremony.

“The biggest thing is looking at the future. We’ve been through that phase of having to sit down and in the seats and graduating, and so for me, the biggest thing is a couple of charges. You know a charge for them to push through adversity, a charge to push forward using their superpowers, and then the last is a charge forward to change the world, and inspire the world. I think just from those three charges about what they did for four, five, and six years, however long it took them to graduate from the University of Tennessee what they get to do in the future is really about making an impact and change in the world,” shared Catchings.

During the ceremony, Catchings was honored with the highest alumni honor at UT, known as the University of Tennessee Distinguished Alumna Award.

Other commencement speakers for the weekend include American poet Joy Harjo and the CEO of Build-a-Bear Workshop Sharon Price John.

Graduation ceremonies are scheduled to conclude Sunday, May 22.

For a full list of graduation ceremonies, click here.

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