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850-plus MTSU grads will celebrate at Aug. 11 summ...

850-plus MTSU grads will celebrate at Aug. 11 summer commencement

Cover of summer 2017 MTSU graduation program, revised for summer 2018 usage. (MTSU photo by GradImages)

More than 850 MTSU students are preparing to celebrate receiving their hard-earned degrees at the university’s summer 2018 commencement ceremony, set next Saturday, Aug. 11, in Hale Arena inside Murphy Center.

Dr. Joey Gray, undergraduate program coordinator for the Leisure, Sport and Tourism Studies Program in the Department of Health and Human Performance

Dr. Joey Gray

The ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 11, will feature a special commencement address from MTSU professor Joey Gray, the outgoing president of the university’s Faculty Senate, director of MTSU’s Leisure, Sport and Tourism Studies Program, and an associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

Friends, families and supporters who can’t attend in person can watch the Aug. 11 ceremony via streaming video at www.mtsu.edu/live. The university will provide closed-captioning services for the live video stream as well as American Sign Language interpretation at the ceremony.

The live commencement coverage will begin about 15 minutes before the ceremony starts.

The university Registrar’s Office reports that 858 students are preparing to graduate from MTSU this summer, including 646 undergraduates and 212 graduate students. The latter number includes 171 master’s candidates, 25 education-specialist degree recipients and 16 doctoral candidates.

Students from all nine of MTSU’s colleges — Graduate Studies, Basic and Applied Sciences, the Jones College of Business, Education, Behavioral and Health Sciences, Liberal Arts, Media and Entertainment, the University College and the University Honors College — will receive their degrees during the single summer ceremony. An official program listing all the graduates is available here.

MTSU’s commencement ceremonies are always free and open to the public. A printable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap, and a seating chart of Murphy Center, including access for guests who use wheelchairs or have other mobility issues, is available here.

An MTSU student’s mortarboard speaks for her as she waits for the summer 2017 commencement ceremony to begin in Murphy Center in this file photo. MTSU’s summer 2018 graduation is set Saturday, Aug. 11, when 843 graduate and undergraduate students will receive their degrees. (MTSU file photo by GradImages)

An MTSU student’s mortarboard speaks for her as she waits for the summer 2017 commencement ceremony to begin in Murphy Center in this file photo. MTSU’s summer 2018 graduation is set Saturday, Aug. 11, when 843 graduate and undergraduate students will receive their degrees. (MTSU file photo by GradImages)

Professor Gray, who earned her master’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism management from North Carolina State University and her doctorate in leisure behavior from Indiana University, has been a member of the MTSU faculty since 2006.

Her dedication to students has earned her not only the gratitude of those scholars but recognition from her peers and employers, including the 2017 MTSU Outstanding Teaching Award. Gray has served in MTSU’s Faculty Senate for about six years and is completing her tenure as the group’s president with the end of this 2017-18 academic year. She’s also a member of the University Honors College faculty and College of Graduate Studies faculty and teaches in MTSU’s Experiential Learning Program and the MT Engage Program.

The Aug. 11 ceremony may last up to two hours, and all graduating students must remain for the entire event.

Dr. Tyler Henson, left, director of the MT One Stop, and Yvonne Elliott, right, executive aide for the Center for Popular Music at MTSU, guide members of the May 5 afternoon graduating class into Murphy Center as heralds for the spring 2018 undergraduate commencement ceremony. The pair will help graduating students celebrate again Saturday, Aug. 11, at the university's summer 2018 commencement. (MTSU file photo by GradImages)

Dr. Tyler Henson, left, director of the MT One Stop, and Yvonne Elliott, right, executive aide for the Center for Popular Music at MTSU, guide members of the May 5 afternoon graduating class into Murphy Center as heralds for the spring 2018 undergraduate commencement ceremony. The pair will help graduating students celebrate again Saturday, Aug. 11, at the university’s summer 2018 commencement. (MTSU file photo by GradImages)

University officials are urging guests to arrive early to ease traffic congestion around Murphy Center and help ensure comfortable seating for everyone inside Hale Arena. Motorists also should avoid Middle Tennessee Boulevard because of ongoing construction; alternate route suggestions are available at www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.

Graduation information — including links to maps and driving directions to MTSU, cap-and-gown information, official photographs and contacts for the Registrar’s Office — is available anytime at www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.

The university’s 2018-19 academic year begins Monday, Aug. 27, with the first official day of fall 2018 classes. University Convocation, a public ceremony welcoming new freshmen into the MTSU family, is set for Saturday, Aug. 25, at 5 p.m. in Murphy Center and will feature Bryan Stevenson, author of MTSU’s Summer Reading Selection, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” as guest speaker.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)


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