Class of 2016 Graduation Information

honors photo

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center commencement activities are held for UT colleges in May and December of each year. Attendance at the College of Medicine Graduation is required of all students. Therefore, medical students wishing to graduate in absentia may be permitted by the Dean after a petition for graduation in absentia has been submitted to the College of Medicine's Office of Student Affairs at least two months prior to graduation.  

College of Medicine Class of 2016 Parent's Reception
May 26, 2016 | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Memphis Botanic Gardens
Guests:  Invite parents/SO/spouse/family; whoever is in town for graduation
Details:  Light refreshments/appetizers provided (not a dinner event), cash bar

College of Medicine Class of 2016 Graduation
May 27, 2016 | 10:00 AM | Memphis Cook Convention Center
Guests:  Number of invitations limited to 15 invitations per student, however, there is no limit on the number of guests that may be invited
Details:  Graduation invitations will be provided at no cost and are available to pick up in the Office of Student Affairs, 910 Plaza, Suite 1035

Interpreting services provided by Deaf Connect. The interpreter will be located to the right of the stage area.

Professional photography services provided by GradImages®. Guests are requested to remain in your seat during the ceremony. Photos of graduates will be taken during and after the ceremony and will be available to view and order several days after graduation by visiting the website at
Immediately following the Recessional, graduates entering military service will be commissioned as officers in their respective services in a ceremony presided over by Dr. Hershel P. Wall, Chancellor Emeritus, Professor of Pediatrics, UTHSC. (Colonel, United States Army, retired). Family and friends welcomed.

2016 College of Medicine Graduation Speaker
Margaret Rhea Seddon, MD
University of Tennessee Alumna, 1973
Founding Partner, LifeWings Partners, LLC
Former Assistant Chief Medical Officer, Vanderbilt Medical Group
and Assistant Professor of Medical Administration & Education
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Dr. Seddon was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, May 30, 2015

Graduate Etiquette

  • Please follow instructions provided in your graduation packet (available for pick up in the Office of Student Affairs).
  • Plan to be at the ceremony at least one hour before the ceremony start time and proceed directly to the graduate staging area.
  • Your mortarboard should be worn so that it sits parallel with the ground, with the tassel hanging to the right. During the ceremony, your officiant will ask you to move your tassel from the right front side of your mortarboard to the left as a mark of the official awarding of your degree.
  • Celebrate your accomplishment in a way that is in keeping with the solemnity of this occasion. Keep in mind that many people have worked long and hard to enjoy this day — do not allow your celebrations to disrupt the ceremony.

Guest Etiquette

  • Plan to be at the ceremony 30 minutes before the posted ceremony start time.Please avoid blocking the aisles or passageways during the ceremony and recessional. Student ushers and COM Staff will be standing by to assist you in identifying designated areas for strollers and wheelchairs.
  • Professional photographs will be taken of each graduate during the Hooding, as they walk the stage to shake the officiant's hand and receive their diploma cover, and as they receive their awards. Please remain in your seat and do not attempt to take photographs during the ceremony.
  • Please remain at your seat for the duration of the ceremony and recessional. Please do not block the aisles or passageways by attempting to greet or take photos with graduates.
  • Guests are not permitted in the graduate staging area.