Memphis, Tenn. (May 16, 2011) – On Friday, May 27, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will graduate 615 health care professionals, marking its centennial commencement. The 100th-year graduation ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. in FedEx Forum, 191 Beale Street. Steve J. Schwab, MD, chancellor of UT Health Science Center, will preside over the ceremony. UT President Joe DiPietro, who assumed his leadership position at UT in January, will confer the degrees and give the charge to the graduates.
Dr. DiPietro was elected the 24th president of the University of Tennessee by the Board of Trustees on October 22, 2010. He officially took over the position on January 1. As president, Dr. DiPietro serves as the chief executive officer of a statewide university system that includes the flagship campus in Knoxville, campuses in Chattanooga and Martin, the Health Science Center with its main campus in Memphis, the Space Institute in Tullahoma, and statewide institutes of agriculture and public service.
The president also serves as chairman of the Board of Governors of UT-Battelle, which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy, and as a member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.
Prior to becoming president, Dr. DiPietro served as chancellor of the UT Institute of Agriculture from 2006 to 2010. The title of that position was changed from vice president to chancellor in July 2010. As chancellor, Dr. DiPietro oversaw UT Extension, AgResearch, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the College of Veterinary Medicine. During his tenure, the institute began interdisciplinary programs such as the Center for Renewable Carbon, the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative and the master's degree in landscape architecture. Between 2006 and 2010, external grant support for the Institute of Agriculture increased 30 percent from $26.6 million to $34.8 million annually.
The 615 centennial-year graduates are from all six of the UT Health Science Center's colleges.