ETSU will celebrate its spring graduates May 3-4.

East Tennessee State University will celebrate 2,028 members of the Class of 2024 at its spring Commencement exercises on Friday and Saturday, May 3-4.

Producer, director and Emmy Award-winning actor Timothy Busfield will be the keynote speaker at the May 4 ceremonies. Busfield attended ETSU in 1978-79 and went on to a successful film, television and Broadway career.

With more than 700 professional credits, he has been a series regular or recurring character in 18 series including “thirtysomething,” “The West Wing,” “Entourage” and many others. A four-time nominee for his role as Elliot Weston on “thirtysomething,” he earned an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama in 1991.

He also has appeared in more than 40 television movies and feature films, such as “Field of Dreams,” “Stripes” and “Revenge of the Nerds.” He has directed more than 140 episodes of television for series such as “This is Us,” multiple episodes of “The Fosters,” and many others and has served as producing director on six TV series.

Timothy Busfield head shot
Director, producer and Emmy-award winning actor Timothy Busfield to speak at May 4 ceremonies.

Busfield has appeared in over 50 regional theater productions and on Broadway twice, most recently as Lt. Daniel Kaffee in Aaron Sorkin’s “A Few Good Men.” He has directed more than 35 professional productions and written dozens of children’s plays.

He founded two of America’s most successful professional theaters, The Fantasy Theatre (AKA the B Street School Tour) and The B Street Theatre, both in Sacramento, California. The theaters perform annually for over 250,000 children and adults at their facility in Sacramento and schools throughout northern California.

Friday, May 3 – ceremonies held in the Grand Hall of the ETSU Martin Center for the Arts

  • 10 a.m. – Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy Hooding and Commencement Ceremony
  • 2 p.m. – Quillen College of Medicine Hooding and Commencement Ceremony 

Saturday, May 4 – both ceremonies in the ETSU Ballad Health Athletic Center (Mini-Dome)

  • 10 a.m. –  Commencement ceremony recognizing graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, Biomedical Sciences and Clemmer College of Education and Human Development.
  • 2:30 p.m. – Commencement ceremony recognizing graduates of the College of Business and Technology, College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy (Bachelor of Science) and College of Public Health.

For more information about commencement, visit

East Tennessee State University was founded in 1911 with a singular mission: to improve the quality of life for people in the region and beyond. Through its world-class health sciences programs and interprofessional approach to health care education, ETSU is a highly respected leader in rural health research and practices. The university also boasts nationally ranked programs in the arts, technology, computing, and media studies. ETSU serves approximately 14,000 students each year and is ranked among the top 10 percent of colleges in the nation for students graduating with the least amount of debt.

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