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UT Martin commencement set for Saturday, Dec. 14; More than 500 slated to receive diplomas


Contact 1: Joe Lofaro


MARTIN, Tenn. – Dr. Renee Bailey Iacona, the head of the alliance and operations office for global biometrics at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, will be the commencement speaker at her alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Martin, at 11 a.m., Dec. 14. Set in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center, 523 graduates are slated to receive diplomas.

UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes will preside over the ceremony and confer degrees. Dr. Joe DiPietro, UT president, will congratulate graduates. Dr. Michael Gibson, UT Martin geology professor, will be the mace bearer, and the processional marshals will be Dr. Jefferson S. Rogers, faculty senate president; Dr. Brian Donavant, faculty senate vice president; Nancy J. Yarbrough, interim vice chancellor for finance and administration; and Andrew A. Wilson, vice chancellor for university advancement. Delana Easley, UT Martin accompanist, will perform the processional and recessional music. Immediately following commencement, a reception will be hosted in Skyhawk Fieldhouse.

A live webcast of the commencement ceremony will be available at

Iacona graduated from UT Martin in 1991, with a bachelor’s degree in biology as a University Scholars graduate. At UT Martin, she served as a resident assistant, biology laboratory instructor, held many leadership positions for Alpha Delta Pi and was awarded the Greek Woman of the Year Award by Panhellenic in her senior year.

After UT Martin, Iacona pursued degrees at Vanderbilt University where she received her doctorate in pathology in 1998 and a master’s degree in public health in 1999. 

She currently lives outside Philadelphia, with her husband, Nick Iacona. She has worked at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals since 2001.

For Alpha Delta Pi, Iacona has continued to serve the organization since graduation from UT Martin and now serves on the Grand Council as the international vice president of alumnae membership overseeing the strategic development of the more than 220,000 alumnae members. For UT Martin, she has started a leadership endowment scholarship and is currently serving on the steering committee for building the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority lodge at UT Martin.

Complimentary tickets to admit guests to the commencement ceremony will not be required.


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