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UT takes graduation ceremonies online & off the stage during May digital commencement

College web pages will be showcased on UT's social media pages during the dates and times of their original ceremonies.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Just because traditional graduation ceremonies at the University of Tennessee were canceled doesn't mean the university won't celebrate the work of its students.

Instead of doing it on a stage this semester, UT will celebrate graduates online instead.

On May 7, colleges will launch a webpage on their websites celebrating their graduates. It will include a video from the college's dean and a few other speakers. The webpage will stay online for a year, according to officials with the university.

Graduating students will have a slide on their college's webpage highlighting their degree along with a recording of their name, as if they were called on to walk across the stage. The slides can be downloaded off the website, to be shared with family and friends.

Then, the web pages will be individually showcased on UT's Facebook and Twitter pages on the date and time of each college's original ceremony. Graduates and family members can post pictures and shout outs to these posts. The posting schedule is below:

Thursday, May 7

  • 9 a.m. College of Architecture and Design
  • 12:30 p.m. College of Nursing
  • 3:30 p.m. Haslam College of Business
  • 7 p.m. Graduate Hooding

Friday, May 8

  • 8:30 a.m. College of Communication and Information
  • Noon College of Law
  • 3:30 p.m. Herbert College of Agriculture
  • 7:30 p.m. College of Social Work

Saturday, May 9

  • 9 a.m. College of Arts and Sciences
  • 1:30 p.m. Tickle College of Engineering
  • 5 p.m. College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences

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“From finishing their courses online to defending dissertations over Zoom, our graduates have shown incredible resilience and flexibility that will serve them well no matter where their careers take them," said Provost David Manderscheid in a press release. "We look forward to watching what they do next.”

Spring 2020 graduates will also receive a congratulatory gift in the mail. The university encourages students to share photos of themselves with their gifts on social media, using #UTGrad2020.

Officials also said they plan on celebrating graduates in-person, on campus, as soon as the university is able. This semester, the university will award 3,415 undergraduate degrees 1,014 graduate degrees and certificates. It will also commission 14 Air Force cadets and 17 Army cadets.

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