Commencement is held in Thompson-Boling Arena. Students 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.
Personal items and 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.
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. Neither the College nor the university can supply wheelchairs to guests. No tickets are required for the ceremony and guests do not need to register.
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 who will take your photograph alone.
Directions & Parking
Located on the main UT Knoxville campus, Thompson-Boling Arena is easily accessible from any direction. The arena is located at the corner of Philip Fulmer Way and Lake Loudoun Boulevard.
Free parking is available at UT’s Neyland Parking Garage G-10, next door to Thompson-Boling Arena.
Please note that Thompson-Boling Arena is quite large, and the distances and inclines between parking and the building entrance may be impediments to persons who have difficulty walking. Please plan on additional time to walk these distances.
The University of Tennessee encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you are a graduating student with a disability, please fill in the appropriate section on the RSVP link when submitting, to make arrangements prior to the ceremony. For more information for graduates and guests, visit the Disability Accommodations webpage through the university registrar.
How can my commencement guest(s) enter Thompson-Boling Arena if they are mobility impaired?
Graduates and guests with disabilities who enter the arena from Phillip Fulmer Way may use an elevator located inside the double-door entrance of the Arena Café. Guests should take the elevator to the third floor to access the concourse level seating area; graduating students should take the elevator to the ground floor to access the reserved seating area for graduates.
Where can my commencement guest(s) park near Thompson-Boling Arena if they are mobility impaired?
Graduates and guests with disabilities who wish to park near the arena would be best accommodated in the following areas: The Neyland Parking Garage (G-10) has 40 spaces reserved for disabled parking and is adjacent to the arena. Persons requiring the use of a wheelchair or those with mobility concerns may best access the arena via a bridge on the top level of the garage (accessible by an elevator to guests parked on other levels). Graduates with a physical disability who access the arena via this bridge should take the elevator by Section 110 to access the reserved seating area for graduates on the ground floor.
For more information, contact:
College of Nursing Commencement Coordinator