More than 2,420 degree candidates are expected to graduate during MTSU's 100th spring commencement ceremonies, according to a report from the Registrar's Office.
MTSU will again feature dual ceremonies and dual speakers beginning at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in Murphy Center. Of the 2,420 set to graduate during the event, 1,974 are undergraduates and 446 are graduate students, including 365 master's candidates, 70 education-specialist recipients and nine doctoral candidates.
Candidates from the College of Graduate Studies, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, College of Education and the College of Mass Communication will receive their degrees in the morning ceremony. That afternoon, degrees will be conferred on candidates in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and the University College.
TBI Director Mark Gwyn addresses 9 a.m. ceremony visitors
MTSU alumnus Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, will serve as the guest speaker for the 9 a.m. ceremony. He is serving his second term as director. He was appointed to his first six-year term in 2004 and is the first African American to lead the state's top law-enforcement agency.
A 1985 graduate of MTSU, he began as a patrolman with the McMinnville Police Department, and then joined the TBI as a special agent in 1988. Since becoming director, Gwyn has expanded the TBI into a far-reaching law-enforcement agency overseeing the creation of the Technical Services Unit and Cyber Crimes Unit.
Under his watch, the state's Fusion Center was constructed within TBI headquarters, housing liaisons from the state Department of Homeland Security along with programs such as the AMBER Alert and statewide Sex Offender Registry. In 2006, MTSU recognized Gwyn as the Distinguished African-American Alumnus of the Year, and in 2010, he was the recipient of MTSU's Distinguished Alumni Award for professional achievement.
MTSU alumnus Hershel Wall speaker for 1 p.m. ceremony
Dr. Hershel "Pat" Wall, special assistant to the president of the University of Tennessee since October 2009, will speak to the graduates at the 1 p.m. ceremony. While he was chancellor of the UT Health Science Center, Wall, also an MTSU alumnus (B.S. '57), was responsible for planning and executing the strategic direction of the statewide academic health care system with campuses in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis. He now devotes his efforts full-time to the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.
Former associate dean for admissions and student affairs in the UT College of Medicine, Wall has also served as chancellor and vice president for health affairs, interim dean of the COM in Memphis and vice provost for students on the Health Science Center campus.
After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from MTSU, Wall graduated in 1960 from the College of Medicine, completing his residency in pediatrics at the Memphis campus and serving as chief resident. He returned to the UT College of Medicine as a faculty member in 1965 after military duty in France.
He was promoted to professor of pediatrics in 1979 and has served as division chief of general pediatrics. Wall is now in his 46th year as an active teacher in the Department of Pediatrics.
Wall retired from the military as a colonel in 1995 after 35 years of service, including the command of the 330th General Hospital, a 1,000-bed hospital, and a stint in Germany as a member of the 300th MASH in the Tennessee National Guard for Desert Storm.
During his 51-plus-year career as a physician, Wall has been recognized for his contributions to medical education, clinical skills and many contributions to the community. In September 2008, UT President John D. Petersen led the inaugural dinner of the Hershel P. Wall, M.D., Legacy Society at UTHSC. The society was established to honor distinguished alumni and special friends who have made a commitment to the UT Health Science Center through planned gifting.
Graduation committee members emphasized that students who participate in the May 7 commencement events will be required to stay for their entire scheduled ceremony. The ceremonies should last about two hours each, so graduation candidates planning celebration activities with families and friends should make allowances for the time commitment.
For more information about commencement, please visit the Records Office website at www.mtsu.edu/~records/grad.shtml. Questions about graduation may be directed to the Records Office at 615-898-2600.