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Lander University is excited to welcome you and your family to campus on Wednesday, May 1 to celebrate your exceptional academic achievements with classmates during Lander’s 169th Commencement Exercises.

Below, you will find helpful information and resources for participants and guests, and additional ceremony details will become available closer to the ceremony date. Commencement questions may also be directed to the Registrar’s Office, Carnell Learning Center Room 109, 864-388-8503.

>> Graduate Checklist


Spring Grad Fair - March 20, 12-5 p.m.

Candidates are encouraged to attend the Grad Fair Wednesday, March 20 from 12-5 p.m. to learn more about their participation in the commencement ceremony. Information will be provided on a variety of graduation-related topics, including tickets, regalia, dress rehearsal, arrival times, lineup and much more.


Ceremony Times

The University’s Spring 2024 Commencement Exercises will be conducted in two ceremonies, with graduates participating in either the morning ceremony or afternoon ceremony, according to their academic college:

  • 10 a.m. Ceremony:
    • College of Arts & Humanities
    • College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
    • College of Business
  • 2 p.m. Ceremony:
    • College of Education
    • College of Science & Mathematics
    • School of Nursing
    • IDS Graduates

Ticket Information

Tickets are required to attend Lander’s commencement ceremony. The number of tickets allotted per graduating student is based on a formula that considers the number of graduates and the seating capacity of the commencement venue(s).

Graduates for the Spring 2024 ceremony will be allowed up to 8 tickets for guest seating in Horne Arena.

  • Commencement tickets will be available for pick-up in the Lander University Registrar’s Office April 8-19, 2024. Students must have a photo ID to pick up their tickets. If you are unable to come to campus to pick up your tickets, you can request to have the Registrar’s Office mail them.
  • Every guest must have a physical ticket for entrance to the arena. Guests without tickets will be directed to a designated overflow area on campus, where a live-stream of the event will be available.
  • For guests unable to attend in person, the University will also provide a live-stream link to the ceremony on the Lander website and social media channels, available that morning.

Please note: The University does not sell commencement tickets, nor distribute “virtual” or “electronic” commencement tickets. Official tickets are provided free-of-charge to graduates through the Registrar’s Office; “virtual” tickets are not authorized by the University and cannot be used for admittance to commencement venues.

Dress Rehearsal

To ensure the ceremony runs smoothly and enjoyably, candidates are required to participate in a mandatory dress rehearsal prior to the commencement ceremony.  

  • Dress rehearsal for graduates of the 10 a.m. ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. in the PEES Gym.
  • Dress rehearsal for graduates of the 2 p.m. ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the PEES Gym.

Candidates should arrive at the PEES Gym at least 30 minutes prior to their dress rehearsal start time to ensure they are dressed and ready to promptly begin rehearsal. There will be tables set up where you will receive a name card and any honors regalia.

Live Stream

To accommodate those who are not able to attend commencement in person, the University will livestream all ceremonies through the Lander website. Links will be posted prior to the ceremony.

Watch it Live:

10 am -

2 pm -

These links will be live the day of the ceremony.

Attire & Etiquette

Commencement is a formal, dignified ceremony recognizing the academic achievements of the University’s scholars. While it is an occasion for celebration, it is also an event that calls for a level of decorum befitting this long-standing, respected tradition.

  • All candidates must be in a Lander University-issued cap and gown to participate in commencement. Simply complete the Request for Graduation in the Registrar’s Office to secure a cap and gown for the ceremony. 
  • The Bearcat Shop will have regalia in a variety of sizes available during the Grad Fair, held several weeks before commencement, and candidates may pick up their caps and gowns at that event. Candidates who cannot attend the Grad Fair can contact the campus bookstore for more information.

  • Stoles and cords for academic and service honors will be provided to qualifying candidates prior to the commencement ceremony. Beneath the regalia, candidates are asked to dress in a professional manner, similar to what you might wear to a formal business interview.
  • Graduates who plan to participate in the commencement ceremony are required to read and sign a Commencement Expectations Agreement. This agreement will be available for signature at the Grad Fair, as well as when students apply to graduate.
  • In order to ensure that all graduates’ names may be clearly heard as they are announced, boisterous and disruptive behavior, whether from graduating students or guests, is not permitted and may result in removal from the ceremony or other penalties.
  • Noisemakers, air horns and similar items are not permitted inside Horne Arena. Additionally, balloons, banners and other items that obstruct guests’ views of the stage are prohibited.

Parking & Security

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.

To ensure the safety of graduates, guests and employees, 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.

Guest Arrival & Seating

To allow time for parking, screening and seating, please plan to arrive early. Doors to the commencement venues will open one hour prior to the start of the 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.

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 Horne 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. Guests are asked to 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.
  • Noisemakers, air horns and similar items are not permitted inside Horne Arena. Additionally, balloons, banners and other items that obstruct guests’ views of the stage are prohibited.

Ceremony Pictures

For the convenience of our graduation candidates and their families, the University makes arrangements with Grad Images for professional photographers to capture the moment candidates are awarded their diploma.

The University Relations Office also provides photography and videography at the event, which is available on the website and Lander social media after the ceremony.

Family members and friends are encouraged to remain in their seats and enjoy 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

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 May 20-30, 2024.

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 in person will be mailed to graduates on June 3, 2024. 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.