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UT Martin prepares for a weekend of in person graduation ceremonies

The University of Tennessee at Martin is preparing for their first in person graduation ceremonies this year. After speaking with the chancellor of the university he says they are taking extra precautions to make sure everything runs smoothly and safe.

"The first question was can we do this in a safe way, we’ve really looked at with the number of people involved with how people are coming out through one entrance and one exit. The crowd and the graduates will never interact", says Chancellor of UT Martin, Keith Carver.

This will be their first in person graduation this year, their May ceremony was virtual and this one is hybrid a mix of virtual and in person.

“It’s been a hard year. My whole last year of college has been pretty much online, so I’m really excited to be graduating and moving on to the next chapter in my life", says student Anna Barnes.

After going through the total number of graduates who wanted to attend in person they decided to have no more than 128 graduates in each ceremony and also limit the number of guests.

“We are also using NCAA guidelines, and so with it being the Elam Center, we are using a lot of protocols that you would use for an athletic event", adds Carver.

The ceremony is contactless so the diplomas will be waiting for each graduate at their assigned chair.

Barnes says although it will be different, it’s worth it, “I’m definitely glad we are having a hybrid graduation this year. It’s very, I think it’s good for the students because it is something we can celebrate, a day dedicated to us and even though it’s short and condensed it’s something we’ll always look forward too".

All three graduation ceremonies will be live streamed on their Facebook and YouTube channels. For 39 news, I’m Imani Williams, in Martin.

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