Commencement

Attention: Commencement has been moved back to Tate Lawn.

In an effort to accommodate as many guests as possible, the Commencement ceremony has been moved back to Tate Lawn. Please note there is still a possibility of inclement weather and all in attendance should prepare accordingly.

Commencement Practice

Friday, May 4
1:45 p.m., Tate Lawn

Attendance is mandatory if you will be participating in the Commencement ceremony. If you are a December graduate or an online/distance learning student, you can pick up your cap and gown at Commencement practice. 
 



Baccalaureate Dinner

Friday, May 4
4:30–6:30 p.m., MacDonald Dining Hall

Leading into the Baccalaureate Service, graduates, families, faculty and staff will gather to celebrate. Tickets purchased for the dinner will be collected at the door. All guests (graduates included) must have a ticket to attend. To accommodate guests and to eliminate lines, doors will open at 4:30 p.m. 
 



Senior Class Photo

Friday, May 4
6:15–6:30 p.m., North Carolina Building steps

As part of a long-held tradition, following the Baccalaureate Dinner, seniors will gather for a class photo on the steps of the North Carolina building. Please wear baccalaureate attire (see below). The photo will be taken promptly at 6:15 p.m. Please arrive early if possible. If canceled due to inclement weather, the class photo will be taken on Saturday, May 5 in Hayes Auditorium at 8:30 a.m. A decision will be announced at Commencement practice.

A copy of the class photo will be emailed to all graduates on Monday, May 7. Keep an eye on your Lees-McRae email. 
 



Baccalaureate Service

Friday, May 4
7 p.m., Hayes Auditorium

Graduating seniors line up for processional at 6:30 p.m. outside of MacDonald Dining Hall. Please wear your gown and hood, no cap. Professional or special occasion dress is required.

Hayes Auditorium will open at 5:30 p.m. for the convenience of guests who finish their meal. Please note that seating is first come, first served.

The Baccalaureate Service will be live streamed on the Lees-McRae Facebook page for those unable to attend.

Parking for the Baccalaureate Service will be available in the Hayes lot, Avery Hall lot, Cannon Student Center lot and the Chaffee Building lower and loop lots.
 



Commencement

Saturday, May 5
10 a.m., Tate Lawn

Commencement will be held Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m. on Tate Lawn. There is no limit for the number of guests attending. Graduates must arrive by 8:30 a.m. in Hayes Auditorium to robe and line up. Professional or special occasion dress beneath robes is required. Please refrain from wearing shorts and flip flops. Please note there is still a possibility of inclement weather and all in attendance should prepare accordingly.

NOTE: Graduates may NOT bring their pets to Commencement.

Seating areas on Tate Lawn have been reserved for wheelchair users and individuals with disabilities. This information will be communicated in more detail at Commencement practice.

The Commencement ceremony will be live streamed on the Lees-McRae Facebook page for those unable to attend.

Parking and Shuttle Service

Parking will be available at the following locations: Avery Hall lot, Cannon Student Center lot, the Historic Banner Elk School lot (adjacent to the fire department) and Eagles Nest remote lot. Parking and shuttle service is also available at the Best Western for those staying there.

Parking for guests with mobility impairments is reserved in the Hayes lot, however, the total number of parking spaces is limited. To park in one of these reserved spaces, a valid permit is required. Handicapped parking placards will be distributed at the end of Commencement practice.

Shuttles will run from the Eagles Nest remote lot and the Historic Banner Elk School from 8–9:15 a.m. approximately every 15 minutes. Signs will be posted for the shuttle service at each location. A shuttle will also run from Best Western from 8–9 a.m. approximately every 15 minutes.

Following the Commencement ceremony, shuttle service will leave from the entrance of Hayes Auditorium (adjacent to Tate Lawn) approximately every 15 minutes. This service will be available for 45 minutes. Shuttles will return guests to the Eagles Nest remote lot, the Historic Banner Elk School and Best Western. 

NOTE: No overnight parking in the reserved lots will be allowed. Lots will open at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5. For the safety of all in attendance, no parking is allowed on city streets or in undesignated spots.

Diploma Distribution

Diplomas will be distributed in the Hayes Auditorium lobby during the 30 minutes following the Commencement ceremony. 

Food and Gifts

The Exchange Bookstore and Einstein Bros. Bagels will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. 

Requirements for Graduation

The following must be met for graduation eligibility:

  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Completion of the Core Curriculum
  • Completion of 15 hours of Writing Intensive (WI) courses
  • Completion of the degree requirements for the appropriate degree
  • Completion of an approved major program of study
  • A minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in the major program of study (Note: Nursing majors must receive a minimum grade of “C-” in required major courses and a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Education majors must receive a minimum grade of “C” in required major courses and a minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA)
  • Completion at Lees-McRae College of at least one half of the credit hours required for the major program of study. In extreme cases of student schedule conflict, the Provost (in consultation with the appropriate Dean) may amend this policy on a case-by-case basis.
  • Completion at Lees-McRae College of at least 32 of the last 40 credit hours. In extreme cases of student schedule conflict, the Provost (in consultation with the appropriate Dean) may amend this policy on a case-by-case basis.
  • No grades of “F” in any required major courses in the program of study
  • No more than 12 credit hours of coursework in which a grade of “D” or lower has been received may apply toward graduation
  • No more than four credit hours of lifetime health and fitness activity courses may count toward graduation
  • If applicable: completion at Lees-McRae College of at least one half of the credit hours required for the minor program of study.

Students may choose to meet the graduation requirements listed in the College Catalog that was in effect the year he or she entered Lees-McRae College or in any subsequent College Catalog. However, a student may not select graduation requirements from more than one catalog at a time. If the student has been out of residence for more than one academic year, the graduation requirements in effect at the time of re-enrollment at Lees-McRae College will apply. Each student’s graduation timeline will vary depending on academic program(s) and academic progress, and may take less or more than four years. Students should work with their academic advisor to create a clear timeline.

Graduation and the receipt of a diploma from Lees-McRae College is an honor bestowed by the Faculty, Administration and Board of Trustees. The awarding of a Baccalaureate degree is duly noted on the student’s official College Transcript.

Download the Graduation Application Form