Commencement 2022

Countdown to Commencement 2022

Commencement and the end of the semester are fast approaching. Keep track of all the important end-of-year coverage here. 

The 2021–22 academic year is coming to a close, and it's time for our graduating Bobcats to be recognized for all the dedication it has taken to make it to this point. Lees-McRae students are resilient, intelligent, and hardworking, and now the time has come to celebrate that.

Commencement weekend kicks off on the morning of Friday, May 6 with a senior celebration brunch in The Summit, and the festivities continue with a senior class photo, Baccalaureate service and more. Friday's festivities are all leading up to the main event, Commencement, which will be held Saturday, May 7 at 11 a.m. in Williams Gymnasium.

Read the recap

Commencement Speakers

This year's Commencement speakers are two students who are ambitious, involved, and inspirational, representing the best of what Lees-McRae has to offer. Joanna Barker is an Elementary Education major in the distance learning program at Surry Community College. London England is a Biology major with a minor in Marketing. Both students will be addressing their peers and delivering a speech at the Commencement ceremony.

Learn more about Joanna Barker

Learn more about London England

Seniors in the Spotlight

Lees-McRae gives students the tools, resources, and guidance to develop their interests and find their own place in the world. Diversity of ideas, perspectives, and experiences is an important part of education at Lees-McRae.

Meet some graduating Bobcats from all corners of campus, and learn more about the impact they have made on the college and the legacy they will be leaving behind.

Lili Bauer has focused on sustainability and accessibility throughout her undergraduate career, an effort that she hopes to continue post-grad.
In just two years Adriana Hollifield has made her mark on Lees-McRae and Banner Elk.
Nicole Shapiro will take what she learned in Banner Elk to a new job with Washington, D.C. Capitol Police.
Preston Turner hopes to work with exotic animals for his career, a desire that was grown at Lees-McRae.
Grayson Wickel has made his mark on campus, from participating on the cycling team, to serving as president of C.R.A.N.K. Crew.
Tyrese Horton is a Wildlife Biology major who has been working on a senior project about plant restoration in Venus flytraps.
Stella Vance, an Online Human Services major, returned to college after more than 20 years in the workforce.
Britney Augustin has been very involved on campus throughout her four years, focusing on building community

Ceremonies and Awards

100 Days Until Graduation

Evans Auditorium in Cannon Student Center was bustling with excited seniors as they learned everything there is to know about senior year and graduation at the second annual 100 Days Until Graduation event. The event took place Thursday, Jan. 27, and served as a way for seniors to take a breath and congratulate themselves for how far they have come.

The celebration was organized by Katie Talbert, executive director of institutional advancement and alumni relations, and Grace Champion, associate dean for STEP and career and life planning. Keep reading

Next Step

With Commencement on the horizon, many graduating seniors are beginning to consider their next step after Lees-McRae. Career and Life Planning hosted an event to celebrate just that, where students took celebratory photos displaying their “Next Step.”

Honors and Awards

Students, faculty, staff, and family members from all corners of Lees-McRae gathered in Hayes Auditorium on Thursday, April 21 to recognize award recipients at the 63rd annual Honors and Awards ceremony.

Each year, this ceremony recognizes outstanding Bobcats who go above and beyond to succeed and make a lasting impact in their field. Awards include recognition for high-achieving students in each academic program as well as awards recognizing excellent faculty and staff members. Keep reading

White Coat Ceremony

On Friday, April 22,  junior and senior Nursing students gathered in Hayes Auditorium to receive their white coats and commemorative pins, important symbols of all that they have accomplished so far in the nursing program.

At Lees-McRae, white coats are typically presented to nursing students in their junior year of the BSN program as a rite of passage. The ceremony celebrates the students’ hard work and commitment to their studies, but also has a particular focus on patient care, a theme which is carried over into nursing practice as well. Keep reading

Alpha Phi Sigma Induction Ceremony

For just the second year the Lees-McRae Criminal Justice department inducted new members into their chapter of the national Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society. Being a member of Alpha Phi Sigma can be very beneficial for graduates entering the workforce. This year's inductees are as follows: Grey Huffstetler, Hannah Foster, Jonathon Brand, Carson Cross, Julia LaGrone, Brooke Roberson, Joseph Angelo, David McCourry, Taylor Smith, Masson Baker, Danielle Benoit, Tracy Miller, Jose Queriapa, Jenna Isenhour, Noah Jackson, Victoria Helms. 

Learn more about Alpha Phi Sigma at Lees-McRae

Bobcat Blast

Lees-McRae students, faculty, and staff celebrated the end of the academic year on Thursday, April 28 with the second annual Bobcat Blast. This year the afternoon of fun, food, and friendship was held on the Grandfather Home for Children campus newly acquired by the college. With the mountains surrounding and the sun shining down, our Bobcats played games, enjoyed inflatable slides, shared in food and drink, and listened to live music on this day of celebration and recognition for all that was accomplished in the past year.

Outcomes Survey

The Office of Career and Life Planning is seeking participation from all graduates in the following survey regarding their current or upcoming employment and education successes. This information aides in the gathering of pertinent information regarding alumni outcomes, further benefitting future Lees-McRae students. All participants will be entered into a raffle to win an iPad. The winner will be drawn in November 2022.

By Maya JarrellApril 20, 2022
AcademicsCampus Life