Commencement

Commencement exercises for the Class of 2024 will be held Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m. in Williams Gymnasium. 

Commencement is an important milestone in the lives of our graduating students who have put in countless hours of hard work to earn their bachelor's or master's degree. The celebratory ceremony for both main campus and online/distance learning students will take place in Williams Gymnasium due to forecasted inclement weather. 

Guests will be limited to four (4) per graduate in order to stay in compliance with the occupancy limit for Williams Gymnasium. Graduates will receive wristbands for guests during Commencement rehearsal on Friday, May 3. A live feed of the ceremony will be streamed for additional guests in Evans Auditorium.  

The college will continue to monitor weather forecasts throughout the week. Should the forecast for Saturday change, the college will make every effort to return Commencement to Tate Lawn. A final decision will be announced on Friday morning.

Baccalaureate Service and Reception
Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m.
Hayes Auditorium
Reception to follow in Evans Auditorium

The Baccalaureate Service is a long-standing tradition at Lees-McRae, and an important step in preparing students for Commencement. At this event, faculty and staff speakers have the opportunity to offer congratulations to the graduates as they complete the symbolic hooding ceremony. 



Graduates must RSVP for the Commencement and Baccalaureate ceremonies by Friday, April 26. 

Friday, May 3

Senior Celebration Brunch
11 a.m., The Summit

Kick off the graduation festivities with a celebration brunch. The brunch is for all main campus and online/distance learning graduates. 

The brunch is only for graduates and the dress is business casual. 



Commencement Rehearsal
1:30 p.m., Williams Gymnasium

Attendance for students is mandatory if participating in the Commencement ceremony. 

December graduates and online/distance learning students can pick up their caps and gowns at The Exchange Bookstore between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3 or at Commencement rehearsal. 



Alpha Chi Inductions
4 p.m., Evans Auditorium

Membership invitations will be extended to students who are in the top 10 percent of the junior and senior classes. 



Reception for Online and Distance Learning Graduates
5 p.m., Needham Alumni House

This gathering for graduates of the online and distance learning programs and their families is hosted by the Lees-McRae Alumni Board. 



Senior Class Photo
6:30 p.m., Tufts Tower

Please wear baccalaureate attire (see below). In the event of inclement weather, the class photo will be taken in The  Summit at the stated time. 



Baccalaureate Service
7 p.m., Hayes Auditorium

Graduating seniors will line up for processional at 6:45 p.m. outside of Miller Commons. Graduates should wear their gown and hood, no cap. Professional or special occasion dress is required.

A reception following the Baccalaureate Service will be held in Evans Auditorium from 8–9 p.m. for graduates and their families, faculty, and staff. 

The service will be live streamed on the Lees-McRae College YouTube channel. Watch Live

Please note that pets, ESA, and therapy animals are not permitted at the Baccalaureate Service. Only approved service dogs are allowed. 

REGISTER

  •  

    Information for Faculty and Staff (Friday, May 3)

    Commencement Rehearsal
    2 p.m., Williams Gymnasium

    Deans and those part of the platform party are asked to be in attendance at the Commencement Rehearsal on Friday, May 3 and arrive at 2 p.m.



    Baccalaureate Service and Reception
    7 p.m., Hayes Auditorium

    The Baccalaureate Service is a long-standing tradition at Lees-McRae, and an important step in preparing students for Commencement. At this event, faculty and staff speakers have the opportunity to offer congratulations to the graduates as they complete the symbolic hooding ceremony.

    Faculty and staff should arrive by 6:45 p.m. in Miller Commons for lineup of the processional. Please wear gown and hood, but no caps.

    Following the Baccalaureate Service, faculty and staff are asked to join the graduates and their families in Evans Auditorium for a reception. 

Saturday, May 4

Commencement
11 a.m., Williams Gymnasium

Graduates must arrive by 9:30 a.m. in the indoor tennis courts to robe and line up. Diplomas will be distributed during the 30 minutes following the ceremony in the indoor tennis courts.

Due to the location change, guests will be limited to four (4) per graduate in order to stay in compliance with the occupancy limit for Williams Gymnasium. All guests must wear the wristband provided before entering Williams Gymnasium.

The ceremony will be live streamed on the Lees-McRae YouTube channel. Watch Live

Professional or special occasion dress beneath robes is required. 

Please note that pets, ESA, and therapy animals are not permitted at Commencement. Only graduates with approved service dogs are allowed. 

REGISTER



Parking and Directions

On the day of Commencement student and guest parking will be available at the following locations (see campus map for directions):

  • Athletic Complex
  • South Campus

Parking for guests will mobility impairments is reserved in the Williams Gymnasium Lot. Due to limited spaces, a valid handicap parking placard is required to park in this lot. 

A live feed of the ceremony will also be streamed for additional guests in Evans Auditorium in Cannon Student Center. Parking for the live stream will be available in the Cannon Student Center Lot, Hayes Lot, Chaffee Lots, and May School Lot.

There will be NO overnight parking in the reserved lots. Lots will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 3, and will reopen for Commencement at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. 

For the safety of all in attendance, no parking is allowed on city streets or in undesignated spots. 

Shuttles

Prior to Commencement, shuttles will run from South Campus approximately every 15 minutes from 8–10:45 a.m. Signs for the shuttle service will be posted at each location. A shuttle will also run from the Best Western at 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 10 a.m.

Following Commencement, shuttles will run approximately every 15 minutes to return guests and students to South Campus and the Best Western. Return shuttle services will operate for 45 minutes following the ceremony.



Inclement Weather Plan

In the case of inclement weather, Commencement will be held in Williams Gymnasium. Guests will be limited to four (4) per graduate in order to stay in compliance with the occupancy limit for the gymnasium. Overflow viewing via livestream will be available in Evans Auditorium in Cannon Student Center

Should weather conditions mandate a change, a decision will be made Wednesday, May 1 and will be posted on this page and communicated to graduates via email. 

  •  

    Information for Faculty and Staff (Saturday, May 4)

    Commencement Lineup
    10 a.m., Miller Commons

    Faculty and platform party members should arrive by 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 in Miller Commons. Refreshments will be available in Miller Commons and restrooms and the robing area will be available in The Summit. 

    • Platform party photos will begin promptly at 10:15 a.m. in Miller Commons.
    • Final lineup for the Commencement processional will be at 10:45 a.m. in Miller Commons.


    Commencement Parking
    Parking for faculty and staff has been designated for the following ares:

    • Faculty: Chaffee Loop, Theatre Arts Building Lot, Hemlock Hall Lot
    • Staff: Presbyterian Church Extension Lot

    Volunteers from the Alumni Board and Order of the Tower may park in the May School Lot. The Business Affairs Lot is reserved for emergency personnel, and handicap parking for all guests will be available in the Hayes Lot. Due to limited spot availability, a valid handicap parking placard is required to park in the Hayes Lot. 

    NOTE: There will be NO overnight parking in the reserved lots. Lots will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 3, and reopen for Commencement at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. For the safety for all in attendance there is no parking allowed on city streets or in undesignated spots. 

Caps and Gowns

The cost of a cap and gown is included in the graduation fee, which has been applied to each student account. All cap and gown orders were due by March 1. Orders may be picked up from The Exhange Bookstore after April 1. Online students may pick up their cap and gown on Friday, May 3 at Commencement Rehearsal. 

With questions, contact The Exchange Bookstore at bkslmc@bncollege.com

Graduation 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 aids in the gathering of pertinent information regarding alumni outcomes, further benefiting future Lees-McRae students. 

Graduation Survey

Alumni Association

The connections you make at Lees-McRae last a lifetime. The Office of Alumni Relations will help you maintain those relationships. Get connected by following the Lees-McRae Alumni Association on Facebook or checking out the alumni webpage where you'll find exciting networking opportunities, learn about upcoming reunions, and stay in the know with college news and events. 

Update your contact information

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 “B-” in required major courses and a minimum 2.7 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.
  • Completion of at least one-fourth of the credit hours toward the degree must originate from Lees-McRae College.
  • 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.

With questions, please contact Registrar Lynn Hinshaw at hinshaw@lmc.edu or 828.898.3473.