UT Tyler to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies Friday, Saturday


TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The University of Texas at Tyler will hold graduation ceremonies this year outdoors in its Patriot Plaza.

Last year ceremonies were canceled because of the pandemic.

Graduates will cross the stage during ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. Students who completed degrees in spring 2020, summer 2020 and fall 2020 can also participate, the university announced.

“We are happy to once again host commencement exercises and celebrate together with our
students and their families,” said Amir Mirmiran, UT Tyler provost and executive vice
president for academic affairs. “Procedures are in place that follow CDC guidelines so that
we can do so safely.”

Masks will be required for everyone participating in and attending the outdoor ceremonies.
Social distancing will be practiced in the standing and seated areas.

Ceremonies are:
Friday, April 30
• 9 a.m. College of Nursing and Health Sciences (undergraduate)
• 1 p.m. College of Nursing and Health Sciences (professional and graduate), College of
Arts and Sciences, School of Community and Rural Health and School of Medical
Biological Sciences
• 6 p.m. College of Education and Psychology
Saturday, May 1
• 9 a.m. College of Engineering and Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy
• 1 p.m. Soules College of Business (graduate)
• 6 p.m. Soules College of Business (undergraduate)

Commencement speakers will be:
• Dr. Julie Philley, University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler executive vice president for health affairs. A native East Texan, Philley returned to Tyler in 2012 to continue her research efforts in nontuberculous mycobacterial disease and bronchiectasis. She is also the principal investigator for a $2 million grant from the National Institutes for Health for convalescent plasma research to combat the COVID19 pandemic.

• Archie Holmes Jr., UT System executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. Holmes joined the UT System in October 2020 and provides oversight and guidance for the eight UT System academic institutions, which enroll more than 220,000 students and have produced nearly 59,000 graduates. Prior to joining the UT System, he was the vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Virginia and was a faculty member at both the University of Virginia and UT Austin. Over his career,
Holmes has co-authored more than 110 referred technical articles and 70 conference presentations and has received numerous awards for his teaching and advising activities.

• Leon Leach, experienced healthcare executive. Leach joined the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1997 where, for two decades, he was responsible for their business and financial functions. Upon retiring from MD Anderson in 2017, Leach continued to serve the University of Texas as a consultant instrumental in the acquisition of East Texas Medical Center and the formation of UT Health East Texas. He serves on the finance committee of the Memorial Hermann Health
System Board of Directors, is chairman of the BH Carroll Theological Institute Board of
Governors and serves on the boards of FaithSearch Partners and Island of Packet

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