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A live stream of the 2013 December Commencement Ceremonies can be viewed here, beginning at 1 p.m. and again at 5:30 p.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 20, 2013) — Today, University of Kentucky students will become university alumni as they take part in the 2013 December Commencement Ceremonies. The Graduate and Professional Ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. while the Undergraduate Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held inside Memorial Coliseum. This will be the fourth December ceremony UK has held to honor students who earned their degrees in August or December.
Approximately 660 undergraduates and 110 graduate and professional students are expected to participate in today's ceremonies. A total of 1,346 undergraduate degrees, 528 graduate degrees and 22 professional degrees have been conferred for August and December 2013.
Both ceremonies will be live streamed at www.uky.edu/uknow. Fifteen minutes prior to each ceremony's beginning, “Live from the Blue Carpet” will air and feature students and special guests as they prepare for Commencement.
UK President Eli Capilouto will deliver remarks at both ceremonies, and a student will address the crowd at the undergraduate ceremony, per university tradition.
Taylor Blair, from Louisville, is serving as the 2013 December Commencement student speaker. The secondary English education major has spent his years at UK as a Wildcat Ambassador for the UK Office of Undergraduate Admission and Registrar, a peer instructor for UK 101 and 201, and a member of the K Book editorial board. He is also a Provost Scholar.
While he has a lot to say about his UK experience, he decided to use his speech to focus on those who made his experience possible.
“You cannot condense the many months of an undergraduate career into a three to five minute speech – but you can begin to thank the people that helped us earn our degrees," said Blair. “That's why I wanted to speak. Our parents, professors and others have earned a lot of credit."
UK is also celebrating its graduates who have overcome many obstacles and trials in their past.
Thaddeus Byrd, 39, of Lexington, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in psychology. He says coming to UK at age 36 has turned his life around completely. Prior to that, Byrd had spent most of his adult life in a world of drugs and violence. Seeking to leave that world behind, Byrd enrolled in Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Just one semester shy of graduating, Byrd was stopped in his tracks when he was shot and nearly killed by three teenagers. After a year of self-guided physical and mental rehabilitation, Byrd finished his academic work at BCTC and decided to enroll at UK. After he graduates today, he plans to pursue a master’s in rehabilitation counseling. Byrd says he wants to help and/or prevent others from going through some of the same kinds of struggles he endured.
Artose Pinner, 35, of Lawrenceville, Ga., and originally from Hopkinsville, Ky., is a former All-Southeastern Conference tailback for the Kentucky Wildcats’ football team who will be graduating with a bachelor's degree in media arts and studies from the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, part of the College of Communication and Information. He came back to school at UK earlier this year to complete his degree following a decade-long hiatus. Pinner played for the Wildcats from 1999 through 2002, and in his senior season, rushed for 1,414 yards, the second-highest total ever for a UK runner in a single season. Pinner also played six seasons in the NFL with Detroit, Minnesota and Atlanta. Now, he is the author of a new series of children’s books named "Willville" and aimed at inspiring and encouraging kids through reading to always chase their dreams and keep believing.
In addition to the students' degrees, the university will also award honorary doctorates to three individuals:
- Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, at the 1:30 p.m. Graduate Ceremony
- Michael T. Nietzel, former president of Missouri State University and former UK provost at the 1:30 p.m. Graduate Ceremony
- Wilbert W. (Wil) James Jr., president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky at the 6 p.m. Undergraduate Ceremony
- College of Design: Friday, Dec. 20, 3:30-5 p.m.: Pence Hall, Room 207
- Graduate School: Friday, Dec. 20, 3-5 p.m.: Singletary Center Lobby
- UK Alumni Association: Friday, Dec. 20, noon-6 p.m.: King Alumni House
- College of Communication and Information: Friday, Dec. 20, 3-4:30 p.m.: Grehan Building, Room 107 (please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP the number of people who will attend)
Watch the live stream
Friends and family of graduates who cannot make it to Lexington do not have to miss out on this special event. UK is utilizing social media and other technology to bring Commencement directly to one’s computer or mobile device.
Both Commencement Ceremonies will be live streamed at www.uky.edu/uknow, the university’s news website. Fifteen minutes prior to each ceremony's beginning, “Live from the Blue Carpet” will air and feature students and special guests as they prepare for Commencement.
The graduate and professional student ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m., with the preshow starting at 1:10 p.m. The undergraduate ceremony begins at 6 p.m., with the preshow beginning at 5:40 p.m.
Followers of UK’s Twitter account (twitter.com/universityofky) can follow along with the Commencement activities via live tweets prior to and during the event. Twitter users are also encouraged to use the hashtag #ukgrad to honor all our graduates.
The ceremonies will be available to watch on the university’s YouTube site a week after Commencement at www.youtube.com/universityofkentucky.