Place and Time

The Commencement ceremonies are held in the Finis Horne Arena on campus. The Fall 2021 ceremonies will be held on Wednesday, December 15. They will be split into two programs, depending on the academic college:

  • 10:00 a.m. ceremony for the College of Arts & Humanities, College of Business, and School of Nursing. 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 Behavioral & Social Sciences, College of Education, College of Science & Mathematics, 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.



Tickets are required to attend the commencement ceremony. In order to accommodate physical distancing and event capacity guidelines, graduates will be allowed six (6) guests. Graduation candidates will be able to pick up and sign for their tickets during the last week of classes and remaining tickets will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis during the week of exams. Every guest must have a ticket to enter the arena (including small children and infants).


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.


Security and Safety

The University’s clear bag policy will be in 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.


Watch the Ceremony on the Lander Website

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 to the livestream will be posted the day before 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.