Your countdown guide to Commencement

Graduates, you’ve been counting down the days to Commencement, but don’t forget about everything else going on around campus this week! With so much happening, it can seem a little crazy. No worries, though—we’ve got you covered. Here is a quick overview on what you need to know.

Before we begin (you knew this was coming), make sure you check out and read the Commencement webpage. There, you will find details on everything from inclement weather plans, to parking, and everything in between.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

UPDATE (as of May 8): Article has been updated to reflect inclement weather plans for Commencement

Tuesday, May 7

Senior Cap and Gown Portraits
4:30–6 p.m. (drop in), Swank Park

The week kicks off on Tuesday with senior cap and gown portraits in Swank Park. Bring your friends (human and furry alike) and have free portraits taken in your cap and gown. Don’t worry, we will send these photos to you prior to Commencement!

Wednesday, May 8

Senior Cap and Gown Portraits
4:30–6 p.m. (drop in), Swank Park

If you couldn’t make it out to Tuesday’s session, then this is your final chance! Bring your cap and gown, and we will bring the fun props.

Graduation Celebration Dinner
6–8 p.m., Bodegas Kitchen and Wine Bar

Wednesday evening, head over to Bodegas Kitchen and Wine Bar for a celebration all about you! Faculty and staff will meet you there for a night of celebrating your accomplishments and having some fun (and enjoying some free food!) before the week really takes off. Make sure to RSVP here before the event.

Thursday, May 9

Tubing on the New River
10 a.m.–4 p.m., High Mountain Expeditions

Ready to de-stress after a busy semester? We thought so. Grab your friends and family and relax on the New River in Boone. Head over to the Alumni House at 10 a.m., and we will hit the road at 10:30 a.m. Don’t forget! Fill out a liability waiver online in advance here and register as soon as you can. Spots are limited.

Friday, May 10

May School of Nursing and Health Sciences Pinning Ceremony
10 a.m., Evans Auditorium (Reception to follow in the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences)

The fourth annual Pinning Ceremony is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of our nursing graduates! Graduates are pinned by a faculty member to celebrate their commitment to the profession of nursing. As one, all graduates and faculty will recite a pledge and commemorate Florence Nightingale’s history of helping wounded soldiers at night by candlelight. Congrats to all our nursing students!

Senior Celebration Brunch
11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Alumni House

Everyone loves a good brunch! Head over to the Alumni House to enjoy delicious food and receive your senior gift. You’ll also have the chance to meet with members of the alumni association and advancement staff.

Commencement Rehearsal
1:45 p.m., Williams Gymnasium

Practice, practice, practice. We are getting so close to the real deal! To make sure everything runs smoothly on Saturday, head over to Williams Gymnasium to take part in a practice run of the program. Attendance is required. See you there!

Alpha Chi Induction
4:30 p.m., Evans Auditorium

Founded in 1922, Alpha Chi was established to recognize outstanding academic achievement. This year, 18 new members will be inducted into this prestigious honor society. Alpha Chi invites students who are in the top 10 percent of their junior and senior classes to join the honor society. Way to go!

Baccalaureate Dinner
4:30–6:30 p.m., MacDonald Dining Hall  

Before honoring you and your fellow graduates at the Baccalaureate Service, let’s grab some dinner! Head down to MacDonald Dining Hall starting at 4:30 p.m. to enjoy a meal with your family and friends, as well as faculty and staff.

Senior Class Photo
6:15–6:30 p.m., North Carolina Building steps (Rain Location: Williams Gymansium Saturday morning)

Just one more thing before the Baccalaureate Service—we promise! It’s time to take the senior class photo on the steps of the North Carolina Building. If canceled due to inclement weather, the class photo will be taken on Saturday, May 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the indoor tennis courts at Commencement line-up. A decision will be announced at Commencement rehearsal. Regardless, this photo will be sent to you following Commencement, so keep your eyes on your email.

Baccalaureate Service
7 p.m., Hayes Auditorium

You might be wondering, what is a Baccalaureate Service? Well, it’s a special tradition here at Lees-McRae. You’ll learn about the significance of the regalia you’ll be wearing, including a symbolic hooding exercise, and you’ll enjoy words of wisdom from faculty and staff across campus chosen by you—our graduates!

Saturday, May 11

10 a.m., Williams Gymnasium

We can barely contain our excitement! You have been waiting for this moment, and now the time has come! Now before we get too excited, make sure you have reviewed the itinerary and details for the day. It’s extremely important that you have everything you need to know so you can fully enjoy the day. You can find a full breakdown here.

You’ve put in countless hours of hard work to earn your bachelor’s degree—now it’s time to make it official. Good luck out there. We will be cheering for you!

Unable to come to Banner Elk but want to be a part of the celebrations?

No worries! Both the Baccalaureate Service and Commencement ceremony will be streamed live on the Lees-McRae College Facebook page!

By Nina MastandreaMay 07, 2019
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