MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — U.S. Rep. Diane Black and Rutherford County Deputy Mayor Jeff Davidson will be on hand Saturday, Dec. 10, to celebrate with an estimated 1,892 MTSU students receiving their degrees in dual fall 2016 commencement ceremonies inside the university’s Murphy Center.
Black, a former member of the Tennessee State Legislature who now represents Tennessee’s 6th District in Congress, is the guest speaker for the university’s 9 a.m. commencement ceremony Dec. 10.
Davidson, an MTSU alumnus and retired U.S. Army colonel, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Students from the College of Graduate Studies, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the Jones College of Business and the College of Education will receive their degrees in the morning ceremony.
Students in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Media and Entertainment, and the University College will receive their degrees in the afternoon event.
MTSU’s commencement ceremonies are always free and open to the public. Friends, families and supporters who can’t attend in person can watch each ceremony live online Dec. 10 via streaming video.
The video stream will be available only on Dec. 10 and will begin about 15 minutes before each ceremony starts; visit http://ow.ly/rwxOz for more details.
The MTSU Registrar’s Office reported this week that 1,622 of the 1,892 students set to receive their degrees Dec. 10 are undergraduates and 270 are graduate students, including 251 master’s candidates, six education-specialist degree recipients and 13 doctoral candidates. Twenty students will receive undergraduate certificates, and one student will receive a graduate certificate.
Black, a native of Maryland who now lives in Gallatin, Tennessee, was the first person in her family to earn a college degree. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Belmont University and worked as a nurse for seven years, then sought her first political office in the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1998.
She held that post until 2004, when she sought and won her race for state senator. In 2010, Black was elected to the 6th District congressional seat, where she serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee.
Davidson, a Nashville native who now lives in Eagleville, Tennessee, earned his bachelor’s degree in history from MTSU and served more than 30 years as an armor and cavalry officer with the U.S. Army, including tours in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and as a senior military adviser during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He earned a master’s degree in national security studies from the U.S. Air Force War College and has received multiple awards and commendations, including the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star medals. The former inspector general for the Tennessee National Guard was appointed as Rutherford County deputy mayor in April 2013.
MTSU’s Graduation Committee noted that all graduating students must stay for their entire commencement ceremony. Each ceremony may last up to three hours.
Guests attending each ceremony are being asked to arrive early to ease traffic congestion around Murphy Center and to help ensure comfortable seating for everyone inside Hale Arena. Motorists should avoid Middle Tennessee Boulevard because of ongoing construction.
Graduation information — including links to maps and driving directions to Murphy Center, cap-and-gown information, official photographs and contacts for the Registrar’s Office — is available anytime at http://www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.