Despite the cancellation of an on-campus winter commencement, Lee University will celebrate its 302 graduates Dec. 11-12.
“One of the highlights of the year is getting to celebrate the achievements of our graduates during the Commencement ceremonies and related events,” said Dr. Debbie Murray, provost at Lee. “Even though we cannot celebrate in person this month, we send our warmest thoughts and congratulations to those completing undergraduate and graduate programs. What a huge accomplishment!”
Lee President Dr. Mark Walker announced the decision to cancel the previously scheduled ceremonies in a video sent by email to graduates on Dec. 2.
“After much research, discussions with the Task Force, and prayerful consideration, and in light of the recent and expected surge in COVID cases, we just did not feel like in good conscience we could move forward with on-campus ceremonies safely, even with all of our protocols in place,” said Walker in his message to students and the Lee family. “This was not an easy decision, but safety is our highest priority.”
In lieu of the on-site ceremonies, the university will recognize its graduates on Lee’s social media channels throughout the weekend. This recognition will include video messages from fellow graduates sharing their Lee experience, a video scroll of every graduate’s name, the traditional tolling of the bells, and other special presentations.
Lee’s School of Nursing will livestream its pinning ceremony from The Lee Chapel on Friday, Dec. 11, at 1:30 p.m., which can be viewed at livestream.com/leeu.
In addition to a few other surprises, each graduate will receive a customized box with their regalia, diploma, a printed program of the event, a yellow umbrella from the Alumni Relations Office, and a Bible signed by Dr. Walker and Lee Chancellor Dr. Paul Conn. These are all items the graduates would have received during the in-person commencement exercises.
According to Dr. Murray and Dr. Walker, the class of 2020 also has an open invitation to return to campus and march in any future commencement.
“We will never forget the class of 2020!” said Dr. Murray.
To view videos prepared to mark the occasion, visit the university’s social media channels.
For questions about Commencement or to schedule box pick up for those who live locally, contact the Graduation Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-8117.