UTC Commencement Ceremonies Set To Pack McKenzie Arena

  • Friday, April 19, 2024
photo by Angela Foster/UTC
Commencement ceremonies for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga begin two weeks from today—and for the first time since the May 2019 event, McKenzie Arena will be filled to the rafters.
 
Restrictions that had previously applied to UTC commencement—first going virtual due to COVID-19; then limited when returning to an in-person format due to pandemic and public health restrictions; and finally limited seating capacity because of McKenzie Arena renovations—have been lifted.
 
Graduate School commencement takes place at 2:30 p.m.
on Friday, May 3. Dr. Edna Varner, a UC Foundation Board of Trustee and longtime member of the Public Education Foundation, will deliver the graduation charge.
 
Two undergraduate commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 4. The College of Arts and Sciences/College of Engineering and Computer Science ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. The Gary W. Rollins College of Business/College of Health, Education and Professional Studies ceremony starts at 1 p.m. The featured speaker for both undergraduate ceremonies is UTC alumnus Richard Zhang, who graduated summa cum laude in 1992 with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, economics and accounting.
 
Traditions of UTC commencements past, including processionals for graduates, faculty and gonfalons—ceremonial banners representing each of the University’s colleges—will be part of the proceedings.
 
More than 1,300 undergraduates and nearly 300 graduate students will receive their degrees. Those numbers include approximately 250 first-generation college students and 90 military-affiliated students (consisting of veterans, spouses and dependents).
 
This will be the 263rd overall commencement for the University, founded in 1886 as the then-private Chattanooga University. The first UTC graduation ceremony took place on Aug. 23, 1969, at the Tivoli Theatre in downtown Chattanooga.
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