MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Nearly 800 MTSU students are preparing to accept their hard-earned degrees at the university's summer 2017 commencement ceremony, set this Saturday, Aug. 12, in Hale Arena inside Murphy Center.
The ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 12, will feature a special commencement address from MTSU professor Mary B. Martin, the outgoing president of the university's Faculty Senate and a professor of mathematics in MTSU's College of Basic and Applied Sciences since 1998.
Those who can't attend in person can watch the ceremony live online at http://www.mtsu.edu/live on Saturday morning.
On Aug. 12, according to a report from the university Registrar's Office, 791 students are set to graduate from MTSU, including 574 undergraduates and 217 graduate students. The latter number includes 189 master's candidates, 12 education-specialist degree recipients and 16 doctoral candidates. One graduate student also will receive a graduate certificate.
Candidates from all nine of MTSU's colleges -- Graduate Studies, Basic and Applied Sciences, Jones College of Business, Education, Behavioral and Health Sciences, Liberal Arts, Media and Entertainment, the University College and the University Honors College -- will receive their degrees during the summer ceremony. An official program listing all the graduates is available at http://ow.ly/dfWk30bgTyW.
MTSU's commencement ceremonies are always free and open to the public. A printable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.
Speaker Martin, who earned her bachelor's degree in mathematics at MTSU, received her master's and doctoral degrees in the same field at the University of North Carolina. She taught at Colgate University and Winthrop University, also directing Winthrop's University Honors Program for five years, and served as a visiting professor at Cornell and Florida State before continuing her career at MTSU.
In addition to teaching undergrad and graduate courses ranging from college algebra and calculus to topology and module theory at MTSU, Martin has focused on professional development training in math for high school teachers and developing public policy for math education. Her projects have brought in nearly $10 million from state and federal agencies, ultimately helping the learning experiences of more than 260,000 students in Tennessee middle and high schools and contributing $1 million directly to MTSU.
Martin has served in MTSU's Faculty Senate since 2005 and is completing her tenure as the group's president with the end of this 2016-17 academic year. She's also delivered the Tennessee Employment Standards Training in Algebra for 11 years, served as academic coordinator for MTSU's McNair Scholars Program for first-generation and underrepresented undergraduates aiming for graduate school, directed the university's National Women's History Month program, and received the MTSU Outstanding Public Service Award for 2008-09.
Saturday's ceremony may last up to two hours, and all graduating students must remain for the duration of the event. Guests should arrive early to ease traffic congestion around Murphy Center and help ensure comfortable seating for everyone inside Hale Arena. Motorists should avoid Middle Tennessee Boulevard because of ongoing construction; route suggestions are available at http://www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.
Graduation information -- including links to maps and driving directions to MTSU, cap-and-gown information, official photographs and contacts for the Registrar's Office -- is available anytime at http://www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.
The university's 2017-18 academic year begins Monday, Aug. 28, with the first official day of fall 2017 classes. University Convocation, a public ceremony welcoming new freshmen into the MTSU family, is set for Saturday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. in Murphy Center and will feature J.D. Vance, author of MTSU's Summer Reading Selection, "Hillbilly Elegy," as guest speaker.