UT Welcomes Al Gore; Gay Street Construction Update

The University of Tennessee's spring commencement kicks off Saturday with the College of Veterinary Medicine and wraps up Friday, May 14, with the College of Architecture and Design. On Friday morning, UT will present an honorary doctorate—only the third it's given out—to Nobel Prize recipient and former vice-president Al Gore for his environmental work. Gore will also be the commencement speaker for UT's College of Arts and Sciences, the first ceremony of the day.

Gore takes the stage of the Thompson-Boling Arena at 8:30 a.m. This year's crop of graduates have some unusually supportive friends and family, the downside of which is there won't be general admission for his speech. However, those interested can watch a webcast of the Gore and learn about other ceremonies at utk.edu/commencement.

On Monday, May 10, the city will provide a quarterly update on the Gay Street Streetscapes project at the Emporium Building, giving residents and business owners the skinny on upcoming work and the broad timeline of the project, as well as the chance to voice any concerns they have. With weather permitting, the project's expected to finish by August 15th, on time but about $700,000 over budget.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Emporium, 100 S. Gay St.