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

Torch Night: A Farewell to Thee

Spring 2022

Thursday, May 19, 8:00pm
Ayres Lawn

Torch Night: A Farewell to Thee is one of UT’s oldest senior traditions. 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.

Spring Ceremony Information

  • Graduates:
    • Wear your regalia.
    • The ceremony will also serve as a rehearsal for commencement. Graduates will participate in the processional.
    • To arrange disability accommodations, please contact commencement@utk.edu.
    • We estimate the ceremony will last about 30-45 minutes.
    • Please register below by May 12 to attend.
  • Guests:
    • Guests are welcome. You do not need to RSVP for them. There will be seating available for them on the far left and far right sides of the lawn. Staff will be on-site to direct them to the appropriate seating areas.
  • In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to Thompson-Boling Arena.

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. Graduate and professional students are welcome and invited to attend as well.


Spring 2022 Registration

Registration is now closed.