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Fireworks explode over Ayres Hall at a University of Tennessee commencement ceremony

Torch Night: A Farewell to Thee


Wednesday, December 8, 8:00pm
Thompson-Boling Arena


Thursday, May 19, 8:00pm
Ayres Lawn

Torch Night: A Farewell to Thee is one of UT’s oldest senior traditions. It is typically only held in the spring; but for the first time, fall graduates will have their own ceremony in December. Graduating seniors have the opportunity to symbolically receive the Torch of Service, pledging to serve both the university and their community as responsible and loyal alumni. All seniors and their families are invited to participate.

Fall Ceremony Information

  • Graduates:
    • Wear your regalia.
    • Enter at the lower level Media entrance near G-10 parking garage by 7:30pm.
    • The ceremony will also serve as a rehearsal for commencement. Graduates will participate in the processional.
    • We estimate the ceremony will last about 45 minutes.
    • Please register below by December 6 to attend. 
  • Guests:
    • Guests are welcome.
    • Enter at the upper level via Gate D. All other gates will be locked.

History of Torch Night: A Farewell to Thee

The first Aloha Oe, meaning “a farewell to thee” in Hawaiian, was held May 17, 1926, on Shields-Watkins Field. It was created to be the companion event to Torch Night: A New Beginning, first held for our freshmen in 1925. The first Aloha Oe featured a muddy tug of war, students dressed in grass skirts, and the strumming of ukuleles.

It has since been renamed and become a more formal ceremony , but the purpose is the same: to give the graduating seniors a meaningful conclusion to their undergraduate years.

Fall 2021 Registration