Graduation Information

Commencement Exercises

Mars Hill University is excited to announce event details for our in-person recognition of Winter and Spring graduates.

Graduate Recognition – Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Livestream will begin at noon. The commencement ceremony will begin at 12:15pm.

Watch the ceremony live

Graduates will process across the Lunsford Commons quadrangle area of the upper campus, accompanied by their chosen guests. The graduates will cross the stage while their guests watch from the sidewalk in front of it. Individual graduates and their guests will wait in a socially-distanced line for their opportunity to approach the stage. President Floyd will present diplomas and other university leaders also will be on the stage to congratulate each graduate.

Because of the format of the commencement ceremony, there will not be a guest speaker. Graduating senior Danielle Fann of Weaverville, North Carolina, will present a solo flute performance.

To facilitate social distancing, graduates will be grouped by their academic majors, with groupings staggered throughout the afternoon. These are the groupings and anticipated times of their processions:

12:30 p.m.

  • Master of Education
  • Master of Management
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

1 p.m.

  • Art
  • Art Therapy
  • Art/Visual Arts

1:15 p.m.

  • Education – Special Education (K-12)
  • Education- Elementary Education (K-6)
  • Education- Integrated Education (K-12)
  • Education- Middle Grades (6-9)
  • English as a Second Language (K-12)

1:30 p.m.

  • Music
  • Music Education
  • Music Performance
  • Musical Theatre
  • Theatre Arts

1:45 p.m.

  • English
  • Spanish
  • History

2 p.m.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Zoology
  • Health & Human Performance

2:30 p.m.

  • Recreation & Sport Management
  • Health & Physical Education
  • Athletic Training
  • Integrated Health Sciences

3 p.m.

  • Business Administration
  • Apparel & Interior Merchandising
  • Business Management

3:30 p.m.

  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Social Work

4 p.m.

  • Criminal Justice
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

4:30 p.m.

  • Nursing
  • Psychology

Read the news release about spring graduation

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 not receive diplomas at graduation. The Registrar’s Office will mail official diploma/transcripts. 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.

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 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.

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 (

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