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The following information will help you prepare for the culmination of your time at Lander University - commencement. If you have questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office (Carnell Learning Center, Room 109) at 864-388-8503. 

>> Downloadable Graduate Checklist Fall 2022


Graduate Lists



Ceremony Details

The Commencement ceremonies are held in the Finis Horne Arena on campus. The Fall 2022 ceremonies will be held on Wednesday, December 14. They will be split into two programs, depending on the academic college:

  • 10:00 a.m. ceremony for the College of Business, College of Science & Mathematics, and College of Education. Graduates participating in the morning ceremony should arrive in the PEES auxiliary gym at 8:45 a.m. Arena doors will open for guests at 9:00 a.m.
  • 2:00 p.m. ceremony for the College of Arts & Humanities, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, School of Nursing, and Interdisciplinary Studies Majors. Graduates participating in the afternoon ceremony should arrive in the PEES auxiliary gym at 12:45 p.m. Arena doors will open for guests at 1:00 p.m.  

Entrance to the arena will be closed 15 minutes before each ceremony.


Ticket Information

Tickets are required to attend the commencement ceremony. Information on tickets will be posted prior to the ceremony. In order to accommodate physical distancing and event capacity guidelines, graduates will be allowed ten (10) guests. Graduation candidates will be able to pick up and sign for their tickets during the last week of classes. Every guest must have a ticket to enter the arena (including small children and infants). Please note: The University does not distribute “virtual” or “electronic” commencement tickets, and those tickets cannot be used for admittance to the commencement venue.

  • Commencement tickets will be available for pick-up in the Lander University Registrar’s Office November 21-December 2 (please bring a picture ID).
  • Tickets may also be mailed to your address, if you are unable to pick the tickets up in person. To request mailing, please contact Kelly Proctor, Associate Registrar, at or 864-388-8503.
  • To ensure availability, you must pick up your tickets or request that they be mailed by 5 p.m. on December 2.

If you have questions regarding tickets, please contact the Registrar’s Office (Learning Center, Room 109) at 864-388-8503. 

Live Stream

To accommodate those who are not able to attend commencement in person, the University will livestream all ceremonies through the Lander website. Anyone deemed at an increased risk for COVID-19 by public health officials is strongly encouraged to view the livestream rather than attend the ceremony in person.

Links will be live the day of the ceremony. 

Security & Safety

The University's clear bag policy will be enforced, and metal detectors will be in use at each entrance. All items will be subject to search.

Graduates and guests who wish to wear face coverings while inside Horne Arena, the PEES Gym, Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, or any other location on campus are welcomed and encouraged to do so.  

Commencement Day Parking

Parking for commencement is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To see a parking map, click here.

  • Suggested general parking areas are located along the main entrance boulevard and adjacent to the arena, such as FSC Lot 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10.
  • Mobility impaired parking will be available in FSC Lot 6, small arena lot and visitors’ parking lot.
  • Overflow parking is available in all other FSC lots on campus.

Arena Seating

To allow time for parking, screening and seating, please plan to arrive early. Doors to the arena will open one hour prior to the start of each ceremony and will close 15 minutes before the ceremony begins. Latecomers and those without tickets will be directed to designated overflow areas on campus for closed-circuit viewing of the ceremony.

Seating for guests with limited mobility will also be available.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, all graduates and their guests are asked to quickly clear the arena to allow staff time to clean and sanitize the area before the next program.

In order to ensure that Lander University maximizes the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all who plan to attend the ceremony and to ensure compliance with the State Fire Marshall Code, we ask that our guests observe the following courtesies:

  • Guests with physical disabilities who arrive in time to be seated in the Arena can be dropped off at the lower entrance of the Arena (Willson Street entrance) and will be accommodated in the appropriate areas. These guests can be accompanied by one attendant.
  • Guests are invited to extend to the graduating students the honor and respect of polite applause as each student crosses the stage – befitting a dignified ceremony. We ask that guests refrain from shouting out names or other forms of boisterous behavior until all are invited to make a joyful sound of celebration and congratulation at the end of the ceremony.


For the convenience of our graduation candidates and their families, we have made arrangements with Grad Images for a professional photographer to record the moment the graduation candidate is awarded their diploma. Family members and friends are encouraged to remain in their seats and enjoy the ceremony. Personal picture taking can be done after the ceremony.

Procedures & Requirements for Graduates

A candidate for a degree must file a Request for Graduation form with the Registrar's Office and complete the online graduation application in Bearcat Web by the date published in the current catalog. An application for a degree is not accepted unless the student has paid all fees required by the university, including the graduation fee. Candidates for graduation must complete all institution coursework in the anticipated term of graduation and by the semester deadline date for final grades in order to receive their diploma/degree. Graduating students with physical disabilities are expected to communicate with the Registrar's Office regarding accommodations needed for their participation in the commencement ceremony upon submission of their application. If a student's graduation plans change, academically or personally, the student must reapply for graduation during the next anticipated term of graduation and pay the graduation fee. Students who apply to graduate in August and who complete all requirements receive their diploma in August and are automatically included in the following December ceremony.

The time frame for students to apply for graduation in the fall, spring, or summer semesters is the first day after drop/add through the fourth week of classes. Announcements will be sent out to students through their Lander email addresses.


Transfer Coursework Policy

Beginning Fall 2017, students may not take coursework at another institution during their term of graduation. All coursework from other institutions must be received and posted prior to the semester of your graduation from Lander University.


Verification of Graduation Information

One month after the semester graduation deadline, candidates will receive an email to verify their diploma name, degree, major, minor, preliminary honors, and hometown (publication purposes). Any changes must be submitted to the Registrar's Office.


Graduation Gala

Every fall and spring semester a graduation gala is held for that semester's candidates. Information will be sent from the Bearcat Shop and Herff Jones and the date will be posted on Lander's calendar. Attendance is strongly encouraged. Students will order their cap and gown, verify their degree information is correct, receive a packet of information about the ceremony,  have the ability to order announcements,  be able to have a picture made with a cap and gown on, and will verify alumni information.


Academic Honors

The following academic honors will be mentioned during the commencement ceremony: Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Cum Laude, Golden L, and Honors College.


Announcement of Graduates

Within a month of the ceremony, a preliminary listing will be posted on the this page.

Within one month after the ceremony, a final graduate list will be available on the Registrar's Office graduation web page. Newspaper announcements will be posted in the Greenwood and hometown paper.


Participation in Commencement Ceremony

Student participation is allowed if:

  • The student has submitted a complete Request for Graduation form with a Degree Evaluation attached, has completed the online portion of the application, and has paid the fee.
  • The student has completed the Fine Arts and Lectureship (FALS) requirement by the deadline set by the Registrar’s Office.
  • The student has completed all degree requirements during the semester of graduation. (August graduates may participate in the December commencement ceremony.)

An official or unofficial withdrawal of all classes during the graduation semester or an “Incomplete” grade on a student’s record will disqualify participation in graduation. Any other conditions which disqualify a student from participation in the commencement ceremony may be appealed.


Diplomas will be available for pickup in the Registrar’s Office from January 9-20. Please be sure to bring a photo ID when picking up your diploma. Diplomas will not be released to anyone other than the student. Any diplomas that were not picked up will be mailed on January 23. The mailing address for the diploma will be the address specified by the student during the online portion of the graduation application.


Diploma Replacement or Duplication

Alumni, please submit the New Diploma Replacement Form (PDF) to order a replacement or duplicate diploma.