Final Spring Commencement Update

Lincoln statue with grad cap

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will hold a pair of commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 8 in Tex Turner Arena. At 10 a.m. the University community will gather to recognize associate and bachelor degree candidates (AS, BA, BBA, BS) and a ceremony for master’s, doctoral and specialist degree candidates (MBA, MEd, MPA, MS, MSN, EdS, EdD) will take place at 2 p.m.

B. James DawsonDr. B. James Dawson, president emeritus, will deliver the commencement address at both ceremonies. A distinguished educator, he has more than three decades of leadership experience in higher education, including eight years as LMU’s 20th president. Upon his retirement in 2017, the LMU Board appointed him president emeritus in recognition of his many contributions to the University. During his presidency, LMU attained Level VI status with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), opened the Duncan School of Law, started a Doctor of Education program and founded the LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine. Dawson also contributed greatly to LMU’s advancement work, as the institution raised nearly $40 million under his leadership.  

The ceremonies will be modified to continue social distancing efforts and mitigate virus spread. Due to the mitigation efforts there will be no candidates in the processional and faculty will be seated in the arena seats rather than on the floor. There is no restriction on guests at the ceremony, however seating will be limited due to social distancing and three seats must be left between groups.

Additional ceremony guidance follows:

  • Graduates participating in the 10 a.m. ceremony must arrive by 9 a.m., wearing regalia. No robing areas will be available onsite. (AS, BA, BBA, BS degree candidates)
  • Graduates participating in the 2 p.m. ceremony must arrive by 1 p.m., wearing regalia. No robing area will be available onsite. (MBA, MEd, MPA, MS, MSN, EdS, EdD degree candidates)
  • All graduates and guests should park in the main lot at Tex Turner Arena (upper level parking lot) and enter through the main entrance of the Arena.
  • Graduates will proceed to the lower level concourse for further instructions.
  • Professional photography will be provided to graduates, free of charge. No one besides the official photographer and LMU staff should be on the floor with the graduates during the ceremony.
  • Guest seating may be limited and offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Guest groups should leave three empty seats between themselves and the next party and practice social distancing during entry and exit.
  • Some arena seating may be blocked to promote social distancing.
  • Facemasks that fully cover the nose and mouth will be available and are strongly encouraged for all graduates and guests (regardless of vaccination status).
  • Any bags brought into the arena will be inspected and must be made of clear material so contents can be easily identified.
  • Parking and seating for special needs guests will be marked with signage, limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.  The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at

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