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Congratulations graduates! Carson-Newman University to host in-person ceremony May 7

Officials said that the graduation ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students will be at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — After many graduates across East Tennessee lost their chance to celebrate their achievements last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many will get another chance to celebrate this year at Carson-Newman University.

Officials with the school announced that in-person graduation ceremonies will be on May 7 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center for this year's graduates. There will be a ceremony for undergraduates at 10 a.m. and another one at 4 p.m. for graduate students.

Dr. Paul Chitwood will address students during the ceremonies, president of the International Mission Board — a missionary society of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“As always, our commencement ceremonies first and foremost celebrate our graduates’ triumph in obtaining this milestone in their academic careers,” said Provost Jeremy Buckner. “It is with additional joy that our celebration takes place in Gatlinburg, which has such strong ties to our great University’s Appalachian heritage.”

Several COVID-19 safety guidelines will be in place during the ceremonies, including masks, temperature checks and social distancing. Graduates will have a limited number of tickets for guests.

It will also be streamed live for people who cannot attend in person.