Tuesday, June 24, 2008


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2008 (Embargoed)—Also, need more graduation numbers.
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Office of News and Public Affairs, 615-898-2919

Single-Ceremony Event Will Again be Webcast for Those Unable to Attend

(MURFREESBORO)—A projected 832 degree candidates will graduate during the 96th annual summer commencement ceremony, MTSU officials announced recently.
The single-ceremony graduation will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in Murphy Center on the campus of MTSU, with Dr. Kevin E. Smith, professor for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the current MTSU representative of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ (TBR) Faculty Subcouncil, delivering the commencement address.
Some 700 of this summer’s degree candidates will be undergraduates, said Sherian Huddleston, assistant vice provost, Enrollment Services, with 129 students slated to graduate from the College of Graduate Studies. This total includes 117 master's degrees and 11 specialist in education degrees. Three graduate certificates have been earned also, but these are not bestowed during the commencement event.
Prior to joining the MTSU faculty in 1994, Smith served as an archaeological field and lab director for projects investigating plantation landscapes and slave life at The Hermitage, home of U.S. President Andrew Jackson, and as a field director for the Vanderbilt University Archaeological Field School. He also was a teaching fellow of anthropology for VU in 1986-1991 and a state archaeologist in 1990-91, where he was principal investigator for archaeological projects on state lands before being named a federal programs archaeologist for the Tennessee Division of Archaeology from 1991 to ‘94.
Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (1986) and a Master of Arts degree (1990) in anthropology from VU before garnering a Ph.D. (1992) in anthropology from the same university. His doctoral dissertation was titled “The Middle Cumberland Region: Mississippian Archaeology in North Central Tennessee.” He also holds professional memberships in a number of professional organizations, including the Cumberland River Archaeological Society, the Society for Historical Archaeology, Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology, Middle Cumberland Archaeological Society, Mid-South Archaeological Conference, and the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, among others.
He has devoted professional service to the a number of archaeological organizations, including serving as vice chairman of the Tennessee Archaeological Advisory Council since 2004, a governor-appointed role; past president and current vice president and editor for the Middle Cumberland Archaeological Society; past committee chairman, editor, co-editor and board member for the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology from 1993 to present; state editorial coordinator for the Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin in 1997-2002; interim editor and interim treasurer for the Tennessee Anthropological Association in 1998-2000; and membership on the editorial advisory board of American Archaeology in 2005-07.
In addition to his 2007-08 tenure as president of MTSU’s Faculty Senate, Smith has penned numerous journal articles, technical papers, reports and book chapters, as
well as book reviews and encyclopedia entries. His upcoming book, “Speaking with the
Ancestors: Mississippian Stone Statuary of the Tennessee-Cumberland Style,” is slated to be published by University of Alabama Press in November. Moreover, Smith has yielded more than $680,000 in external and internal grant funding through his research and work for MTSU.
Dr. Diane Miller, professor, mathematical sciences, and interim chairwoman of the commencement committee, said she wanted to remind all degree candidates of the importance of appropriate dress, decorum and respect for the commencement ceremony.
“We believe this is a very important day in the lives of many people,” Miller said. “Commencement is one of those few days that families always remember as special. It is difficult to give the ceremony the dignified atmosphere it deserves if attendees are using air horns or leaving before the completion of the ceremony.”
Additionally, Miller noted that the graduation committee also emphasized that students who participate in commencement will be required to stay for the entire ceremony. The ceremony should last about two hours. If candidates are planning celebration activities, please be aware of this commitment, she said.
“To make this a special day, it requires cooperation from everyone in attendance,” Miller said. “We believe it should be a dignified ceremony, which adds to its enjoyment of all in attendance.”
At 8:30 a.m. Aug. 9, Murphy Center doors will open for the commencement
ceremony. Candidates are expected to be in their assigned areas, dressed in their caps and gowns, no later than 9 a.m. Officials report that students who are not in their assigned gym at the proper times will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. Because commencement rehearsals are no longer conducted, timely attendance is mandatory for students to receive important instructions.
Graduation information—including how to access the graduation ceremony via streaming video the day of commencement, maps and driving directions to Murphy Center, cap-and-gown information and how to order a DVD of the summer ceremony— is available online by accessing www.mtsunews.com and clicking on the “Graduation Information” link at the top, center of the Web page.
For more information about receiving a degree in absentia, please visit the Records Office Web site at www.mtsu.edu/~records/ grad.htm . Any additional questions about graduation may be directed to the Records Office at 615-898-2600.


Who: 832 graduates* (700 undergraduates, 129 graduate students)
What: MTSU’s 96th annual summer commencement ceremony.
When: 10 a.m. Aug. 9; doors open at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Murphy Center
Commencement speaker: Dr. Kevin E. Smith, professor for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the current MTSU representative of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ (TBR) Faculty Subcouncil
* — Approximate number as of June 16, 2008.

**ATTENTION, MEDIA—To secure a jpeg of Dr. Smith for editorial use, please e-mail your request to gfann@mtsu.edu in the Office of News and Public Affairs at MTSU.


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