More than 1,760 Middle Tennessee State University graduates will soon be transferring the tassels on their mortarboards to the left following fall commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 16, to celebrate the last graduating class of 2023.
Graduate students and undergrads in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences,Jennings A. Jones College of Business and College of Liberal Arts will be the first to celebrate their accomplishments in a 9 a.m. Central ceremony inside Murphy Center’s Hale/Earle Arena.
Of the 1,761 students set to graduate, 1,458 are undergraduates and 303 are graduate students, including 262 master’s candidates, 23 education-specialist recipients and 18 doctoral candidates. In addition, seven graduate students will be receiving graduate certificates, and eight undergraduate students will be receiving undergraduate certificates, according to the university’s Registrar’s Office.
Providing words of encouragement as keynote speaker at both ceremonies will be Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, one of Middle Tennessee’s oldest and largest business federations.
Schulz joined the chamber in 2006, following a 30-year career in nonprofit management, marketing and fundraising. During his tenure, the chamber played a key role in helping the region emerge from the 2007 recession to a period of unprecedented growth.
The chamber has also led the movement to improve public school performance through the creation of the Academies of Nashville, established the Moving Forward initiative to ensure the creation of a regional transportation solution through a cohesive community effort and developed into a respected publisher of data on the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area with the annual publication of the Vital Signs report.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Schultz currently serves on numerous civic and nonprofit boards including the Nashville Health Care Council, Tennessee Business Roundtable and others. He has also been involved with the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, served on the Citizens Advisory Committee for Bus Rapid Transit, MTA’s Strategic Plan Advisory Committee and the NashvilleNEXT Steering Committee and Major League Soccer to Nashville advisory committee.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee will briefly address each group of graduates after welcoming them and their guests.
The fall 2023 graduates will push the number of MTSU degrees presented since 1911 to more than 183,250.
Both the ceremonies will be open to the public. MTSU no longer requires masks indoors, but they’re still welcomed and encouraged for those who prefer to wear them, as is social distancing for health safety.
Friends, families and supporters who can’t attend in person can watch the ceremonies free and live on True Blue TV, at www.mtsu.edu/live and https://facebook.com/mtsublueraiders. Online commencement coverage will begin about 15 minutes before each ceremony starts.
The university will provide closed-captioning services for the live video streams as well as American Sign Language interpretation on-site at the ceremonies.
A campus map with parking information is available at http://bit.ly/MTSUParking. A seating chart of Murphy Center, including access for guests with disabilities, is available at http://ow.ly/TCkd30ld2PQ.
Driving directions, along with more extensive graduation details for students and guests, are available anytime at https://mtsu.edu/graduation.
MTSU fall semester classes ended Wednesday, Dec. 6. Final examinations will conclude Thursday, Dec. 14, with the official end of the fall semester.
Winter Session begins Wednesday, Dec. 20, and ends Thursday, Jan. 11.
The university will be closed for winter break, including for those in Winter Session, Friday, Dec. 22, through Monday, Jan. 1. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 2. The university will also be closed Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The spring 2024 full-term classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 16.
— Jimmy Hart (Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu)