Place and Time

The Commencement ceremonies are held in the Finis Horne Arena on campus. The 2021 ceremonies will be split into three programs, with two academic colleges per program. The arena doors will open at 8:00 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. ceremony for the College of Science & Mathematics and the College of Education; open at 11:00 a.m. for the 12:00 p.m. ceremony for the College of Business and the School of Nursing; and open at 2:00 p.m. for the 3:00 p.m. ceremony for the College of Arts & Humanities, the College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, and Interdisciplinary Studies graduates. Guests will be directed to their seats per COVID regulations. 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 five (5) 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.


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.

Guest seating in the arena will be sectioned into “pods” of five seats that are physically distanced from other pods in accordance with public health guidelines. Each graduate’s party will be seated together in one pod. Please ensure all members of your party arrive and enter together. Once seated, please do not switch seats or move to another pod.

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.


Health and Security Screenings

Face masks/coverings are required inside all Lander University campus buildings, including Horne Arena, PEES Auxiliary Gymnasium, and ceremony overflow areas. Guests are asked to comply with mask requirements and physical distancing guidelines at all times while on campus.

Temperature checks will be performed for entry into commencement areas; individuals with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed inside.

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.


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.