UT's graduating class of 1926 celebrated its farewell to UT with a muddy game of tug-of-war at a ceremony called the "Aloha Oe."
The ceremony then evolved into a formal event, with the seniors marching through Grecian columns installed on Shields-Watkins Field and then up the side of the Hill where they formed a "T," and extinguished their candles in unison to bid farewell to their alma mater.
The senior candlelight ceremony happened annually through 1967.
The graduating class of 2013 is reviving the tradition of the "Aloha Oe" graduation ceremony on May 7.
"Students for years have wanted this tradition to return to campus," Allison Cunningham, the chair of "Aloha Oe," said. "I am so excited to be working with so many student leaders in the class of 2013 to make this a reality. The passion that many students have for this event is incredible and one of the main reasons we are able to bring it back this year."
The senior in marketing and logistics hopes that her fellow seniors from all of UT's colleges will take advantage of "Aloha Oe" to experience a graduation ceremony together, since formal graduation ceremonies are divided by college.
"Seniors do not necessarily get to experience commencement with their best friends," she said. "'Aloha' Oe allows ... students to celebrate this night with their friends and reminisce on all of the memories that they made while at UT. We want this ceremony to be a celebration of student life and what it truly means to be a Vol for Life."
Jeff Cathey, the associate dean of students, agreed with Cunningham, describing the "Aloha Oe" as a "Senior Farewell" ceremony.
"It is an opportunity for students to celebrate their time and accomplishments at UT both in and out of the classroom," Cathey said. "May graduation ceremonies divide our students by college and focus on the official conferring of a degree. 'Aloha Oe' is a time to celebrate UT life together with those other students who have meant the most to a student's life here regardless of their major. The ceremony will both honor life at UT and will invite graduating seniors to begin embracing their new life chapter as alumni."
Cathey also emphasized the symbolic importance of the ceremony.
"The ceremony is originally intended to serve as the 'bookend' to 'Freshman Torch Night,'" he said. "Students at 'Torch Night' symbolically take up the 'Torch of Preparation' to carry during their time at UT. At 'Aloha Oe,' students symbolically give up the 'Torch of Preparation' and take up the 'Torch of Service' that they will carry for life as leaders in our communities."
Cunningham believes that every graduating senior should to take advantage of the "Aloha Oe" ceremony
"The ceremony is meant to celebrate being a Vol for Life and transitioning into alumni," Cunningham said. "The ceremony is an important tradition to (UT) and a reminder to all graduates to always carry the torch with you no matter where you go. Even though we are all graduating, Tennessee will always remain a part of us."
The ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. on May 7 in the lawn in front of Ayres Hall. Condredge Holloway Jr., a former UT quarterback, will be the guest speaker. Family and friends are invited to attend the ceremony and following reception.