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TTU News


This spring, an estimated 1,400 students and their families will hear from Gov. Bill Haslam and Kevin Huffman, state commissioner of education, at Tennessee Tech University’s commencement ceremonies May 10.

Huffman will address the morning commencement ceremony, which includes graduates from the Colleges of Agriculture and Human Ecology, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Interdisciplinary Studies and the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing. The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Haslam will speak for the graduates of the Colleges of Business and Education at the afternoon ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m.

Both ceremonies will be in TTU’s Hooper Eblen Center.

Haslam has served as the governor of Tennessee since 2010, when he was elected by the widest margin of any non-incumbent gubernatorial candidate in the state’s history. A Knoxville native, he began his career at Pilot Corp. after graduating with a degree in history from Emory University. When he joined his family’s corporation it had 800 employees throughout the state. In his years at the company, it grew to employ more than 14,000 people across 39 states. Haslam was elected mayor of Knoxville in 2003 and re-elected in 2007.

Huffman has been the state education commissioner since 2011. He came to the position with more than two decades working with public education systems as a teacher, lawyer, non-profit executive and non-profit board member. His career included time serving as the general counsel, senior vice president of growth strategy and development, and executive vice president of public affairs for Teach for America. During his tenure, the program grew to be the largest providers of new teachers in the country.

As commissioner, Tennessee made the largest gains in fourth and eighth grade math and reading scores in the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress. He is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, the board of directors on the Council of Chief State School Officers, the executive committee of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and a member of Chiefs for Change.

Both commencement ceremonies will be streamed live at