MTSU will hold separate commencement ceremonies for grad students

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee gives welcoming remarks during the 2013 MTSU Convocation ceremony held Sunday, Aug. 25, at Murphy Center. (MTSU / J. Intintoli)

Photo by J. Intintoli // MTSU Photographer

MTSU will have a separate ceremony for graduate students as a part of a new tradition beginning with May’s commencement ceremony.

Students earning doctorate, master’s and education degrees will have their ceremony on Friday, May 6, at 3 p.m. in Murphy Center. Special recognition will be given to doctoral students with their brief biographies and dissertation abstracts read aloud, followed by receiving their hoods and diplomas.

The new recipient of the Career Achievement Award, who is chosen during MTSU’s Fall Faculty Meeting, will be the ceremony’s speaker. Tennessee State Historian and Director of the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, Dr. Carroll Van West, was given the award last fall and will also speak at the inaugural graduate ceremony.

“We think this separate commencement is a very positive step in that it gives graduate students the recognition they deserve,” Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, said in a press release.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, deans and other top executives will attend the graduate ceremony as part of the traditional commencement platform party.

At the ceremony, doctoral graduates will be escorted into Monte Hale Arena with a faculty member who will present a new academic hood to the graduate. The master’s and education specialist degree candidates will walk in with their college and degree programs.

Undergraduate students will have their commencement ceremonies in the same location on Saturday, May 7, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

During the morning ceremonies, students in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, the College of Education and the College of Media and Entertainment will be given their degrees. Students in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and the University College will have their ceremony in the afternoon.

Since the total number of students graduating from MTSU in the spring and fall averages about 2,000 per ceremony, holding separate commencement ceremonies for graduate students and their guests will shorten the event time, university officials said.

There will also be a single ceremony for all summer graduates in August, including additional biography and abstract readings for the doctoral candidates. The outgoing president of the Faculty Senate will give the keynote address.

Students can find more information about MTSU’s commencement ceremonies on MTSU’s wesbite.

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To contact News Editor Amanda Freuler, email

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