Graduation Information

Commencement Exercises

Mars Hill University is excited to announce event details for our in-person recognition of Spring and Summer graduates. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate planning and campus gatherings during this unprecedented time.

Graduates: Specific arrival times for graduation were sent to your MHU email addresses. If you have any questions, please call 828-689-1152.

Graduate Recognition- October 4, 2020 beginning at 2pm

Watch Live

Due to COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings we will not be able to host our traditional, indoor graduation ceremony. However, as promised by President Floyd, we plan to recognize each graduate and their accomplishment(s). Graduates and their guests will receive a designated time to arrive on campus. Once on campus, graduates and guests will stroll along the Lunsford Commons towards the iconic campus fountain. Provost Parkinson will read the name, degree, and distinction for each graduate that walks up to the podium. At which point the graduate will walk across the stage and receive their academic scroll from President Floyd. Graduates will receive their diploma and cover (available only to those who have not opted for their diploma to be mailed and have paid all outstanding balances with MHU). We will have our professional photographer available for graduation photos along the graduation walk. Additionally, the bookstore will be open for graduates and guests to purchase alumni items, diploma frames, and Mars Hill gear. We request that graduates and their guests plan to spend no more than 20 minutes on campus and return to their vehicle at the conclusion of their graduation walk/bookstore visit.  It is imperative that we maintain compliance with state and local regulations for mass gatherings, we must limit graduates to only 7 guests. Only graduates who RSVP and have a ticket will be permitted to attend. Please check your email for ticket information.

Academic Regalia

Graduates, please dress in your academic regalia. August graduates who have not purchased cap and gown will need to contact the bookstore, ASAP. I have included the contact information below:

Ms. Dinah Bullman
Bookstore Management

Spring graduates who have ordered their regalia but not yet received the items have two options: 1). Request their cap and gown be shipped from the University bookstore at the number above or 2). Pick up items at check-in on Oct. 4. (If you plan to pick up your cap and gown the day of, remember that items will come folded in a plastic bag). Email me directly if you plan to utilize option 2.

Cords, tassels, medals, stoles, etc. will be available for pickup at check-in for all graduates.

COVID Restrictions:

  • We ask that all graduates and guests wear a mask while on University property.
  • Social Distancing – maintain at least 6 feet from graduates/guests outside of your immediate family. Avoid handshakes, high fives, and physical contact with others.
  • Each graduate and guest will be required to participate in an initial temperature check- Temperatures greater than 100.4 will be asked to return to their vehicle.
  • Each graduate and guest is encouraged to utilize hand sanitizer before arriving to campus and while on campus.


Commencement is the paramount academic ceremony, and participants are expected to demonstrate their respect for the event and its significance by wearing appropriate attire beneath their regalia. Men should wear dress shirts with ties, dress slacks, and dress shoes, women a dress or dressy suit with matching flats or heels. Jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, shorts, flip-flops, and the like are inappropriate.


Bachelor’s degree graduates participating in the December or May Commencement ceremony must wear appropriate regalia consisting of gown, mortarboard, and tassel purchased from the Mars Hill University Bookstore. Graduates keep their regalia following Commencement. Regalia from other ceremonies is not permitted. A graduate in active military service at the time of Commencement may wear the appropriate dress uniform in lieu of regalia but must drape the academic gown over his or her forearm when crossing the stage to receive a diploma. Graduates’ tassels are colored according to the degree earned:

  • Bachelor of Arts — white
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts — brown
  • Bachelor of Music — pink
  • Bachelor of Science — gold
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – apricot
  • Bachelor of Social Work — citron

Graduates who earn “Latin honors” (cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude) also wear a second tassel in institutional blue and gold provided by the university. During the ceremony, tassels must be worn on the right side of the mortarboard until graduates are directed to move them to the left side by the President. Men are expected to remove their mortarboards during the invocation but replace them afterwards; women may do the same or may leave their mortarboards on throughout the ceremony.

A graduate who is a member of Alpha Chi (traditional students) or Alpha Sigma Lambda (nontraditional students) may wear that organization’s honor cord over his or her regalia during Commencement.

Graduates who have successfully completed the university’s Honors Program curriculum wear a gold stole at Commencement in addition to any other recognitions.

Faculty members in each academic department may, at their discretion, select a graduate to be recognized as the Outstanding Graduate at each Commencement ceremony. To be eligible for this distinction, a graduate must also be eligible for Latin honors. Outstanding Graduates are announced as their names are called and are presented with a medal recognizing their achievement.

Alpha Chi cords and Honors stoles will be given out at line-up prior to Commencement. Information on procuring Alpha Sigma Lambda chords can be obtained from Heidi Sermersheim (