Students at commencement

More than 300 undergraduate and graduate students will be embarking on their next chapter as they graduate during Methodist University’s “Commencement Weekend” on May 11.

On Saturday, May 11, Methodist University will hold two commencement ceremonies at Crown Coliseum – a commencement at 4:30 p.m. for those receiving their bachelor’s degree, and a graduate commencement at 8 p.m. – to honor students from MU’s 10 graduate programs and students from its many undergraduate programs.

This marks the second-straight year Methodist University has hosted a “Commencement Weekend” that included separate commencement ceremonies for 2023-24 graduates from undergraduate and graduate programs – an exciting time for the entire MU community.

“Commencement Weekend is a pivotal moment that allows faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to honor the hard work, dedication, and achievements of our outstanding Methodist University graduates,” said MU Provost Suzanne Blum Malley. “It is a time to celebrate not only their academic success, but their commitment to carrying out the mission and values of our institution as they continue their journey as lifelong Monarchs. We look forward to being a part of such an important day of their lives.”

Both ceremonies will be live streamed. To access the live videos, view the MU event page for the Commencement 2024 and/or the Graduate Commencement pages. You can also access the Crown Coliseum live streaming page once each ceremony is scheduled to begin. For more information on parking, tickets, venue policies, and more, visit Methodist University’s Graduation page.

Commencement 2024

Saturday, May 11, 4:30 p.m., Crown Coliseum

Dan K. McNeill

Methodist University’s undergraduate students will be recognized during a traditional commencement ceremony in front of family, friends, and loved ones.

As they cross the stage, graduates will participate in a hooding and diploma ceremony. During the hooding ceremony, each graduate will be hooded by an individually selected sponsor (often a parent, spouse, child, professor, or friend) as a visual representation of the students’ level of academic achievement and scholastic degree being conferred. President Stanley T. Wearden will then hand graduates their diploma on stage.

The ceremony will include elements from Baccalaureate, a moment of gratitude and blessing for the graduates and their supporters. Jamari Stroud ’24, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Occupational Management, will provide a scriptural reading before Rev. Dr. Kelli Taylor, vice president for Mission Integration & Student Well-Being and chaplain, provides a spiritual message.

Among the undergraduate Class of 2024 is Madison Brunson ’24, who was selected as this year’s Distinguished Graduate. Brunson is among the five students in her undergraduate class with the highest GPA and was chosen to speak at the graduation by her peers. Hailing from St. Petersburg, Florida, Brunson is a Psychology major with dual concentrations in Human Performance Psychology and Counseling/Clinical Psychology and two minors in Cognitive Behavioral Neuropsychology and Management. She is also a member of the President’s List, Dean’s List, Leadership Fellows, and MU Honors Program.

The ceremony’s keynote speaker will be General Daniel K. McNeill. He served with Special Forces, airborne infantry, mechanized infantry, and aviation units. As a general officer, McNeill has commanded the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, U.S. Army Forces Command as well as serving as an assistant division commander, corps chief of staff, deputy corps command, and deputy commander/chief of staff FORSCOM. He also served oversees in the Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, Italy, Panama, Haiti, Saudi Arabia/Iraq, and Afghanistan. McNeill retired in 2008 after completing more than 40 years of service.

Graduate Ceremony

Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m., Crown Coliseum

Franklin Clark

In similar fashion, the graduate commencement will also include a hooding and diploma ceremony – a special moment at MU that allows graduates to share their accomplishments with a loved one. Similar to other commencement celebrations of the past, numerous speakers will address the students, including keynote speaker Dr. Franklin S. Clark III.

Clark, a retired surgeon and businessman, is a longtime supporter of Methodist University with deep roots in the Fayetteville community. Clark is also well known for his dominance on the basketball court as a center for the University of North Carolina from 1966-1969, reaching the NCAA Final Four three times while holding the UNC single-game rebounding record with 30 in 1968.

“It is my honor to enjoy the privilege of addressing the men and women who have achieved graduate level of academic accomplishment,” said Clark. “These alumni will join the leaders of today and tomorrow.”

President Wearden will hand out various master’s and doctoral degrees for MU’s graduate programs including Business Administration, Physician Assistant Studies, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and others.

Commencement Week

Methodist University is also hosting several events throughout the week leading up to “Commencement Weekend”. To view more information about each event, click on the corresponding Events Calendar page: