Graduation numbers increase by almost 9 percent for spring ceremonies

Potential graduating seniors are up by about 100 students, or 8.7 percent, this spring in comparison to last spring.
“Including [graduate] students, there are about 1,325 potential graduating students this semester,” Denise Burgess, administrative associate, said. “It is important to keep in mind that the actual number of graduates could go down as thesis deadlines come up and final grades come in.”
Burgess said the number of graduating seniors last year was 1,219, including graduate students. The number of graduates from last fall appears to be lower than last spring and this semester.
“Six hundred and one undergraduate students finished up in the fall, but this number does not include graduate students,” Burgess said. “The total number of graduates is higher than that, but I do not have the amount of graduate students at this time.”
There will be two commencement ceremonies on graduation day, one at 9:30 a.m. for the colleges of agriculture and human sciences, arts and sciences, engineering and the school of interdisciplinary studies, and the other at 2 p.m. for the colleges of business and education.
“Right now, it looks like there will be about 500 graduating students in the morning ceremony and about 450 students in the afternoon commencement,” Burgess said. Beth Harwell will be the guest speaker for the morning commencement and Millard Oakley will speak during the afternoon commencement.
Harwell currently serves as Speaker of the House in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Oakley is the principal shareholder of the First National Bank of Tennessee and is the namesake of Tech’s Millard Oakley STEM Center.
As the date for graduation approaches, some of the graduating seniors are reflecting on their time at Tennessee Tech and looking toward the future.
“I have had a great four years here,” Casey Elrod, senior, said. “But like all good things, they must come to an end, I guess.”
Graduation will be May 11 in the Hooper Eblen Center.