U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Judge Donna Scott Davenport will be on hand Saturday, Dec. 12, to celebrate with an estimated 1,833 MTSU students receiving their degrees in dual fall 2015 commencement ceremonies inside the university's Murphy Center.
Davenport, an MTSU alumna who serves as Rutherford County Juvenile Court judge, is the guest speaker for the university's 9 a.m. commencement ceremony Dec. 12.
Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor who is serving his second term in the U.S. Senate, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Students from the College of Graduate Studies, Basic and Applied Sciences, the Jones College of Business and the College of Education will receive their degrees in the morning ceremony.
Students in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Media and Entertainment, and the University College will receive their degrees in the afternoon event.
MTSU's commencement ceremonies are always free and open to the public. Friends, families and supporters who can't attend in person can watch each ceremony live online Dec. 12 via streaming video.
The live commencement coverage will begin about 15 minutes before each ceremony starts; visit http://ow.ly/rwxOz for details about the video feed.
MTSU's Registrar's Office reported this week that 1,573 of the 1,833 students set to graduate Dec. 12 are undergraduates and 260 are graduate students, including 247 master's candidates, four education-specialist degree recipients and nine doctoral candidates. Another three students will receive graduate certificates.
Davenport, who worked with the MTSU and Murfreesboro police departments, earned an associate's degree in law enforcement from MTSU as well as bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice. A former claims investigator with Metro Nashville's legal department and a criminal intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Justice's Regional Organized Crime Information Center, Davenport earned her law degree from the Nashville School of Law.
She founded a private law practice, began teaching criminal justice as an adjunct professor at MTSU and won her first election to the judgeship in 2000. She ran unopposed for her third term in 2014.
Corker, who graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in industrial management, is the current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an active member of the Senate's banking and budget committees.
The former Tennessee commissioner of finance has worked closely on housing finance reform in Congress since his election in 2006. He has also visited more than 60 countries to gain a deeper understanding of the strategic relationships between the United States and other nations.
MTSU's Graduation Committee noted that all graduating students must stay for their entire commencement ceremony. Each ceremony may last up to three hours.
Guests attending each ceremony are being asked to arrive early to ease traffic congestion around Murphy Center and to help ensure comfortable seating for everyone inside Hale Arena.