University of Tennessee spring graduates receive their diplomas

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – It’s the day college seniors have been waiting on for years now – graduation day! Thousands of diplomas were handed out on the University of Tennessee campus on Thursday.

Students and their families gathered at the spring commencement ceremony for the College of Agricultural Sciences in Thompson Boling Arena.

Undergraduates turned the tassels on their caps to symbolize the change from student to graduate. It’s been years in the making for these seniors who walked across the stage to earn their diplomas.

“You have chosen an honorable profession. We feed, clothe, and in some cases, heal the world,” said one professor.

For College of Agricultural Science student Mitchell Baker, this ceremony symbolizes the start of the rest of his life.

“It is exciting that the next step is about to begin,” said Baker.

Baker isn’t wasting any time to use the knowledge he has learned from UT.

“The University of Tennessee has given me the foundation that I need to make a difference within the world,” said Baker.

He plans on getting his masters degree, joining the Peace Corps, and helping those who are hungry in the world.

Baker adds, “I would love to help examine how other countries feed themselves and development and sustain themselves so we can have more people less hungry.”

Victoria Howard has a proud family supporting her passion.

Her mother, Kimberly Howard said, “I always told her, love what you do for a living and you’ll never have to work again. And I think that’s the path she has chosen.”

Howard is a wildlife and fishery science grad landed her first job in Texas, where she will be working at a zoo to study the captive breeding of birds. Recent grads like her are proving that hard work pays off.

Howard adds, “Lots of hard work. It was a long four years, but finally made it.”

Several other colleges within the university will hold their commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. More than 4,000 students will participate.

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