• 04-07-2020 (Lee University Postpones May Commencement)

    Lee University will combine its spring commencement ceremonies with the previously scheduled summer commencement, taking place August 1 on Lee’s campus. This announcement was made Monday, April 6, during two different meetings on Zoom, one with students and one with staff and faculty.

    “I regret that we have to wait that long to celebrate our graduating seniors, but in light of current circumstances and in the interest of everyone’s health and safety, we must wait until the summer,” said Conn. “But I promise you, we will get to celebrate with all the bells and whistles, Lord willing.”

    Conn had encouraged all graduating seniors to let him know directly if they would prefer a virtual graduation or a postponement if the May date could not happen, and with few exceptions, most all expressed the desire to postpone so they could cross the stage on site.

    Other announcements were made on Monday concerning refunds, closures, and cross-cultural trips.

    Conn confirmed that all students who had paid for housing and/or meal plans for the spring semester would receive partial refunds. The university plans to issue these refunds by mid-April, though students may leave the funds in their accounts, should they wish to apply the credit to their next semester.

    Conn stated to the faculty/staff that approximately 90 percent of Lee employees are staying at home, working remotely in most cases. “Colleges and universities are considered an ‘essential service’ by the state and the CDC,” he said. “So we need to keep our work going as well as we can while staying home and observing ‘social distancing’ guidelines.”

    The dining hall, which had been operating on a limited take-out service only, completely closed Monday until further notice.

    It was also announced that all cross-cultural trips scheduled to happen in May or June have been postponed or cancelled.

    Despite all of the schedule changes and disruptions to routine, Conn reminds students to “stay optimistic, stay healthy, and stay in touch.”

    “No matter what, whether we do it from our homes or on the web, we are still here for you, and we will keep doing what we do, caring for you and providing an opportunity for you to learn and grow,” Conn said.

    Lee University’s social media channels and website remain the best source of information about scheduling, updates, and other announcements.

    04-02-2020 (Message from Dr. Debbie Murray)

    May 2020 Bachelor’s and Master’s Candidates and Families:

    Each year, we look forward to celebrating the outstanding accomplishments of our graduating students at our Commencement ceremonies. With the pandemic still active and unpredictable, we have delayed making a decision regarding the May Commencement until April 8 or 9, one month out from the Commencement date. Please look for a live-stream message from President Conn.

    As previously announced by President Conn, we will hold an in-person commencement ceremony for the May Class of 2020. The date of that ceremony is to be determined. Regardless of when the ceremony is, it is important for you to know that the degrees you earn will be conferred in May, at which time you will be a Lee University graduate (as long as all academic requirements have been met).

    Thank you for your flexibility, openness, and resiliency as we continue to adapt to these changes.

    Debbie Murray, Ed.D.
    Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

    Congratulations! Your graduation from Lee University represents the culmination of years of hard work. To make the graduation process a smooth one, students may access detailed Graduation information via Portico. Guest information is provided below.

    Undergraduate Commencement Schedule
    Spring and Summer Combined
    Commissioning Ceremony
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 6:30 PM
    Conn Center
    Commencement Ceremony
    Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 10:30 AM
    Conn Center
    * If inclement weather, ceremonies will move to Paul Dana Walker Arena
    Master’s and Ed.S. Commencement Schedule
    Spring and Summer Combined
    Hooding Ceremony
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 4:30 PM
    The Chapel  
    Commissioning Ceremony
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 6:30 PM
    Conn Center
    Commencement Ceremony
    Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 10:30 AM
    Conn Center
    * If inclement weather, ceremonies will move to Paul Dana Walker Arena
    Once You Arrive to Campus

    Upon arrival to campus, there will be signs and campus security officers directing guests to parking.

    After parking, guests will be directed to the venue unless they have young children they would like to drop off at childcare. Doors open one and a half hours before the ceremony. We ask that guests arrive with enough time to be seated approximately fifteen minutes before the ceremony start time. Please note that seating is first come, first served.

    Ticket Information

    Both July and December Commissioning and Commencement Ceremonies are ticketed services. Weather permitting, the May Commissioning and Commencement services are held outside and do not require tickets. However if rain is likely, these events are held indoors and are ticketed. If it is determined to move any ceremony inside, that information will be prominently displayed on this page.

    Potential graduates will receive an email approximately four weeks before the services with the number of tickets they will receive. In all cases of ticketed services, there will be non-ticketed seating available in a secondary venue with live streaming of the services.

    The number of tickets each graduate receives is determined after the Official Candidate List is released. Students will receive an email from the Graduation Office with all ticket information approximately four weeks prior to the ceremony. At that time the student can fill out the Extra Ticket Request Form to be placed on the waiting list to request additional tickets. The number of extra tickets available is unknown until very close to the event. Therefore all tickets, including extra tickets, will not be given to the students until the end of graduation rehearsal.

    The Graduation Office will contact Graduates via email about their guest’s accommodations for seating and parking for both the Commissioning and Commencement Services approximately one (1) month prior to the events.

    Assistance for Persons with Disabilities

    The following resources are available for all guests with disabilities:

    • Handicapped Parking:
      • Summer and Winter Graduation: Library Parking Lot
      • Spring Graduation: Communication Arts Building Parking lots
    • Accessible Seating:
      • Special needs seating is available at both Commissioning and Commencement. The Graduation Office will contact graduates via email about their guest’s accommodations for seating and parking approximately four weeks prior to the events.
    • Should the Spring Commissioning and Commencement ceremonies be held outside, air conditioned seating will be available in the Patricia Carroll Lecture Hall, School of Nursing, room 202 for any guests with weather-related health conditions.

    Childcare is available for children, infants to 4 years of age. For all graduations, the Friday hours of operation will be 3:30pm – 9:00pm. The Saturday hours of operation will be 9:00am – 1:00pm for Summer and Winter Graduations, and 8:00am – 1:00pm for Spring Graduation.

    There will be signs throughout campus directing guests to the childcare location. Childcare is located in the Early Learning Center at the Church Street Annex. A Lee University shuttle will be provided back and forth from the venue to the childcare location if guests should need assistance. It may be easier for guests with small children to park at the childcare facility and ride the shuttle to the service venues to save the children the shuttle ride.

    Photography and Videos


    Lee University Photography provides official graduation photography services. Portraits are taken of all graduates on stage as they receive their diploma. Cap and Gown Portraits are also available after both the Commissioning and Commencement Services.

    Photos may be viewed at www.leeuphotos.smugmug.com. For more information, please contact the Office of Publications by phone at (423) 614-8627 (M-F 8am-5pm) or email publications@leeuniversity.edu.


    Videos of the graduation ceremonies may be accessed through the following resources:

    • For 2015-present Graduation Ceremonies:
      • Live Stream: live video stream of the upcoming ceremonies may be viewed on: livestream.com/leeu.
      • Vimeo: Videos of the Commissioning, Commencement and Hooding ceremonies may be imbedded or downloaded off of Vimeo via Lee University’s page, vimeo.com/leeuniversity. See your graduation program for the release date.
    • For 2013-2014 Graduation Ceremonies:  
    • For 2009-2012 Graduation Ceremonies:
      • iTunes: Videos of the Commissioning and Commencement ceremonies may be downloaded free of charge from iTunes. Search “Lee University Graduation,” and select any of the ceremonies you wish to download.
    Commissioning and Commencement Ceremony Descriptions

    The Commissioning Ceremony on Friday and the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday are both ticketed events but are two distinct services. The students and faculty march wearing regalia for both services, but the content and purpose of each service is different.

    The Commissioning Ceremony is a special time for students and their families. There are 5 student speakers who share a brief story about their time at Lee. Each student walks across the stage to receive a Bible with his or her name on it as a gift. After the service, which lasts approximately 1 and 1/2 hours, there is a stand-up buffet reception for all graduates and their friends and families. The reception is not a ticketed event.

    The Commencement Ceremony on Saturday morning is the official conferral of degrees and recognition of academic achievement. There is a guest speaker, and all students are recognized by name as they cross the stage and receive their diploma cover.

    Hooding Ceremony Description

    The Hooding Ceremony is specifically for students completing their master’s or educational specialist degrees and their guests. It is a ticketed event and will take place in the Lee University Chapel on the Friday afternoon immediately before the Commissioning Ceremony. During the ceremony each student crosses the stage, is congratulated by his or her Graduate Program Director and then is hooded by his or her Academic Dean. Immediately following the hooding ceremony, there is a brief reception for students to visit with faculty and guests before leaving for the Commissioning Ceremony. Graduates wear full regalia as they participate in the Commissioning Ceremony and the Commencement Ceremony.

    Contact Information

    Graduation Office
    1120 North Ocoee Street
    PO BOX 3450
    Cleveland TN 37320-3450

    Email: graduation@leeuniversity.edu
    Phone: (423) 614-8117
    Monday - Friday 8:00AM - 5:00PM EST

Academic Calendar

Good Friday-No Classes-Offices Closed
All day

Good Friday-No Classes-Offices Closed
Classes Resume
All day

Classes Resume
Lee Day
Begins at 12:00 AM

Lee Day
Lee Day
All day

Lee Day
Begins at 10:40 AM

Conn Center
View all events »