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Spring/Summer 2020 College Commencement Ceremony

Friday, May 8, 2020, 8:30 A.M.
Thompson-Boling Assembly Center and Arena
1600 Phillip Fulmer Way
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996

Personal items and/or valuables should not be brought to or left unattended at the commencement ceremony. All cell phones must be turned off or set to silent mode as soon as you enter the seating area. Please refrain from cell phone use before and during the ceremony.

Arrival Time

Graduates must arrive at Thompson Boling Arena and be fully gowned by 7:45 a.m. The ceremony will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and will last approximately 60 minutes.


Students will register and assemble in the Ray Mears Room, which is located on the Arena floor level just behind the stage. The closest Arena entrances to the Ray Mears Room are located under Pratt Pavilion.

Guest Seating

The facilities will open one hour before the ceremony begins. Guest seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign language for hearing impaired guests will be available. General wheelchair-accessible seating will be available throughout the arena. Please note that neither the College nor the University supply wheelchairs to guests. No tickets are required for the ceremony and guests do not need to register.

Graduate Registration

All graduates must register at the table located just outside of the Ray Mears Room. You will receive an index card with your name. Do not lose this card. You must give the card to the designated reader who will announce your name as you cross the stage.

Graduate Processional


Right before you go on stage, hand your index card to the reader and proceed up the ramp to accept congratulations from your department head and the dean of the college.


As a courtesy to all in attendance, please have your guests refrain from advancing to the front of the stage to take photos as you are walking across. A professional photographer will be taking photos as you shake hands with the dean on stage. There will be another photographer as you leave the stage that will take your photograph alone. After the ceremony, the dean and department heads will be available at the reception in the Communications Building for additional graduate and guest photo opportunities.


After you have your photograph taken, return to your designated seating area and remain seated until the conclusion of the ceremony. Do not leave any personal items or valuables unattended at any time during the ceremony. Once the ceremony has been adjourned, you may meet your guests and make your way to the reception at the CCI Lobby and Patio.


A reception for graduating seniors and their guests will be held immediately following the commencement ceremony in the Communications Building Lobby and Patio. Refreshments will be served.