Commencement is a long-standing tradition that celebrates the achievements of our graduates. It is the culmination of our students’ hard work over the course of the last four years (and sometimes even longer), and in the case of our graduate students, intensive study over a shorter period of time.

May 2021 Commencement

Dear Members of the Spring 2021 Graduating Class,

The Methodist University administration, faculty, staff, alumni, and Board of Trustees join me in congratulating you on this milestone in your academic career. I look forward to greeting you personally on May 8, 2021, at Segra Stadium located at 460 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301. Commencement is scheduled for 10 a.m. (with 4 p.m. on May 8, and 10 a.m. on May 9, as back-ups in case of heavy rain).

Each graduate will be issued five tickets (one for the graduate, one for the sponsor, and three for any additional guests).

A packet of information has been included with this letter. Please take the time to review the information and submit the required forms. If you have questions that are not answered in this packet, please contact Pam Ellis-Phipps at (910) 630-7031 or

This commencement will also include any graduates from 2020 who would like to participate. These graduates must contact Pam Ellis-Phipps immediately to reserve their spot. Reservations must be made by April 9, 2021.

Commencement is a time to celebrate accomplishment. I am delighted that despite great hurdles, we’ll be able to do that in person this year. Congratulations.


Suzanne Blum Malley, Ph.D.

Safety Guidelines at Commencement

Our top priority at Segra Stadium is the safety, health, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and guests.

  1. Do not enter the stadium if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  2. Wear a face covering at all times.
  3. Practice good hygiene – wash your hands frequently.
  4. Maintain physical distancing. Sit only in designated seats.
  5. Adhere to posted signage and generally comply with all state and local pandemic mandates.

By entering the stadium, you acknowledge that our community is in the midst of a global pandemic and accept the inherent risk in attending the ceremony. While we are taking prudent precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we cannot guarantee there will be no exposure. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in your being asked to leave the event.

Graduation Hooding Ceremony

Let us know the name of the sponsor (one parent, spouse, child, faculty member, or friend) who will hood you during the graduation ceremony. The hooding ceremony takes place as you cross the stage to receive your diploma. Your sponsor, who holds the hood during the ceremony, will place the hood over your head just before President Wearden hands you your diploma cover.

Many of our graduates choose a sponsor who has made a positive impact on their time at the University. This includes a parent, child, and even a staff or faculty member. Your sponsor and their relationship to you will be announced as you walk across the stage.

The academic hood is a visual representation of your level of academic achievement and the scholastic degree being conferred. The hood is designed to be worn with the velvet side up and the small, tapered end in the front. The small, tapered end has a cord you may attach to a shirt button to prevent the hood from riding against your neck. The velvet trim represents the learning discipline (major), the chevron represents the college conferring the degree, the lining represents the University, and the black shell is the traditional color determined by the Intercollegiate Bureau.

Hooding Instructional Video

Graduating Senior Survey

The Graduating Senior Survey allows you to provide feedback about your educational experiences at Methodist University. The survey is anonymous and is used to help us improve our programs and services. This survey will be emailed to your student account. You must complete the form before tickets will be made available.

Any student not meeting all the requirements for graduation as noted in the Methodist University Academic Catalogue will not be allowed to participate in graduation.

Site Information

Socially Distant Seating

Segra Stadium staff will re-create its existing seating manifest to allow for proper distancing, thus decreasing overall ballpark capacity. Select seats will remain vacant to maintain proper distancing.


Doors will be propped open to encourage touchless entry/exit and restrooms will be sanitized frequently with EPA registered disinfectant along all surfaces. Segra Stadium is equipped with touch-free urinals and water closets. In an effort to keep common touch points touch-free, motion soap dispensers will replace every pump dispenser in the ballpark.

Event Parking

More information on parking for graduation will be distributed closer to graduation.

Caps and Gowns

You can order caps, gowns, and other regalia by visiting Caps and gowns will be available for pickup in the Bookstore. Regalia for 2021 graduates must be ordered immediately for it to be delivered on time. Please do this today if possible. The cost of regalia is covered by the graduation fee. More information regarding pickup times will be communicated via email.

Graduation Cap Decoration

Please take into consideration the following guidelines when decorating your graduation caps (gowns may not be decorated):

  • Only the flat, top area of the mortar board may be decorated. There may be nothing hanging down from any of the sides of the cap.
  • Decorations must be flat on the surface of the cap. 3-D creations are prohibited.
  • No advertisements. No symbols, abbreviations, initials, words, slogans, patches, or pictures that refer to drugs or controlled substances, tobacco, alcohol, or weapons or be of a sexual nature, denote an affiliation with gangs or which advocate violence or hate.

Methodist University reserves the right to confiscate any cap that is not in compliance with the university handbooks, policies, and procedures.

Failure to follow these rules will result in being asked to wear a plain cap provided by the Office of Academic Affairs. Students will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony without caps and gowns.

Grads Give Back

Six years ago, a group of seniors wanted to leave a lasting legacy at MU. They collected donations from more than 150 graduates and named the new campaign Grads Give Back. Did you know your tuition only covers 75 percent of the cost for you to attend MU? Donations from alumni and friends of the University filled the gap to make your education possible.

Now it’s your turn! By supporting the Grads Give Back campaign, your gift is your first chance to pay it forward for students at MU. Make a gift and receive your Class of 2021 t-shirt. Stop by the Mallett-Rogers House behind the soccer field or donate by visiting and selecting “Grads Give Back” in the designation drop-down. Questions? Contact the Alumni Office at

Library Clearance

All library materials must be returned by April 29, 2021. There is no grace period. All items checked out by seniors are due by this date. Any items not returned by this due date will be billed to the student’s account, including a restocking fee ($5) and billing fee ($5). If the items are returned after the bill is sent, we will credit the student’s account for the cost of the items and the restocking fee. The billing fee, however, is non-refundable.

Parking Fines

The Public Safety Office issues tickets for parking violations. Should students receive a parking violation, they are encouraged to pay the fine or appeal the ticket by going to the Division of Student Affairs Office in the Berns Student Center Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to pick up an appeal form within three days of receiving the ticket. Any unpaid parking fines will be billed to the student’s account.

Additional Graduation Information

Mandatory COVID Testing for Participants

All 2021 graduates and marshals must be tested May 3-5 at the MU Health Center. Students who receive a negative test will be permitted to pick up their Commencement tickets and to attend. Students who test positive will be retested. If their second test is negative, they will be allowed to pick up their Commencement tickets and attend. If their second test is positive, they will not be allowed to pick up their tickets, and they will not be allowed to attend Commencement.

Graduating seniors and marshals can receive their tests at these walk-in dates and times only:

  • May 3: 9 – 10:30 a.m. and 2 – 4:30 p.m.
  • May 4: 9 – 10:30 a.m. and 2 – 4:30 p.m.
  • May 5: 9 – 10:30 a.m. and 2 – 4:30 p.m.

Returning alumni participants (2020 grads, for instance) must provide a negative COVID test dated no earlier than May 3, 2021. Results must be submitted to Pam Ellis-Phipps at by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Alumni who can get to campus may test at the Student Health Center in West Hall at the times listed above.

Guests of Graduates do not need to display proof of a negative COVID-19 test result in order to attend Commencement.

If you have any questions, please contact the Health Center at


Each graduate will be issued five tickets (one for the graduate, one for the sponsor, and three for any additional guests). Sponsors will enter Segra Stadium with the graduate.

Graduation Announcements and Class Rings

You can order graduation announcements and class rings by phone at 1 (800) 424-1492 or order online at

Flag Presentation

If you are a native of a foreign country and a non-U.S. citizen, please indicate which country you are from on the Graduation Participation Form. If you are the first graduate from your country and are interested in being recognized for such during the graduation ceremony, please notify the Office of Academic Affairs by calling (910) 630-7031 prior to April 9, 2021.

Financial Aid Exit Counseling

Financial Aid Student Loan Exit Counseling is now available. This must be completed as soon as possible by all students who have received Federal student loans.

Baccalaureate Service

The Spring 2021 Baccalaureate Service was offered via livestream on April 27 via this link:

A Note for 2020 Graduates

Graduates from 2020 should contact Pam Ellis-Phipps ( immediately not only regarding participation, but also regalia.

Downtown Fayetteville Businesses Proudly Support MU’s Commencement

Below is a list of downtown business partners who are offering special discounts to MU grads on Commencement weekend. Also, MU students, faculty, and staff who have an up-to-date MU ID, can receive discounts all year with our MU Discount Program partners.

The Coffee Scene Prince Charles
450 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Show graduation ticket/stub and receive 50% discount for breakfast (8 a.m.-1 p.m.) on May 8. Signature “Monarch Gelato” (gold with green sprinkles) also available.

Stevies on Hay
318 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Show diploma cover on May 8 and get 15% off anything in the store.

District House of Taps
1240 Fort Bragg Road, Fayetteville, NC 28305
Offering: 15% off one meal on May 8 for graduates showing a cap and gown. For reservations call 910.491.6737.

Huske Hardware Restaurant and Brewery
405 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Special seating for MU guests on May 8. For reservations call 910.437.9905

Tress Connoisseurs Hair Extension Company
314 A Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Mention MU graduation and get 40% off total purchase on May 8.

Blood and Bone Tattoo
222 Franklin Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Show graduation ticket/stub and get 15% off a tattoo booked with Chris and Oscar on May 8-9.

City Center Gallery and Books
112 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Mention you participated in MU graduation and receive 10% off all books (for graduates and their families, plus MU faculty and staff) May 8-10.

Turner Lane
242-A Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Show MU cap and gown and receive a free Muscadine Slushy on May 8.

White Trash and Colorful Accessories​​​​​
223 Franklin St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Graduates showing their ticket/stub on May 8 may receive a free writing pen.

The Shops at 123 Hay Street
123 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: Special discounts throughout the shop.

Rude Awakening Coffee House
227 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Offering: MU Graduation ripple on cup of coffee