December Commencement Ceremony

Friday, December 11, 2015, 7 p.m.
Mary B. Martin Auditorium, Seeger Memorial Chapel

Tickets are not required for December commencement. Feel free to invite family and friends.

Graduates: See details below or Download an Information Sheet »

May Commencement is May 7, 2016
Details to be released soon


Directions to Milligan

Please refer to our Visit page for information on getting to Milligan, local accommodations, and regional airports.

Learn more »

Commencement Speaker


Dr. E. LeRoy Lawson, Distinguished Professor of Christian Ministries, has over 50 years of ministry experience, including youth, pastoral, and teaching ministries. In January 2012, he joined the full time faculty of Emmanuel Christian Seminary (now part of Milligan) after an association with the Seminary that goes back to its first year of classes on Milligan’s campus in 1965. At Milligan, Lawson has served as trustee, assistant professor of English, English department chair, director of the humanities program, vice president, and now currently serves as professor of Christian ministries with special emphases in church administration and leadership, spiritual formation, and preaching.

He served as president of Hope International University in Fullerton, California, from 1990 to 2003. During the first nine years there, Lawson also was the senior minister of Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona, a position he held from 1979 to 1999, while the congregation grew from an average of 490 in 1978 to around 4,500 in 1999. He currently is International Consultant with Christian Missionary Fellowship International and serves as interim pastor at First Christian Church in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Lawson received his Bachelor of Arts in theology from Northwest Christian University; Bachelor of Arts in English, Cascade College; Master of Arts in teaching, Reed College; and Doctor of Philosophy in English, Vanderbilt University.

He and his wife, Joy, live in Johnson City.

DVDs and Online Streaming

DVDs of the commencement ceremony will be available for $25. Order forms will be distributed at commencement rehearsal, and an order table will be set up in Seeger lobby on the day of the ceremony. Online streaming will be available at for friends and family members who are unable to attend.

Special Seating

To make arrangements for guests with special needs, contact Stacy Tramel at 423.461.8681 or

Child Care

Child care will be provided during the commencement ceremony in the Runner Music Classroom (Seeger 200), located on the lower level of Seeger Memorial Chapel.

Info for Graduates

Rehearsal and Commencement

Commencement Rehearsal (All Students)

  • 3:00 p.m., Friday, Dec 11 (will end by 4:30 p.m.)
  • Seeger Memorial Chapel
  • Everyday attire


  • 7:00 p.m., Friday, Dec 11 (graduate line-up: 6:30 p.m.)
  • Mary B. Martin Auditorium, Seeger Memorial Chapel

Download an Information Sheet »

Graduation Regalia and Announcements

Graduation regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) will be available in the bookstore beginning Oct 24. The price for undergraduate regalia is $39.95 plus tax; the price for graduate regalia is $79.95 plus tax. A hood is included in the regalia price for graduate students and will be presented at the commencement ceremony. Graduation announcements and time/place cards are available in the bookstore for $8.99 plus tax (package of five).

Honors (Undergraduate students only)

Honors for undergraduate students are computed based on the anticipated cumulative grade point average at the end of the Fall 2015 semester (Summa Cum Laude: 3.95 – 4.0, Magna Cum Laude: 3.75 – 3.94, Cum Laude: 3.5 – 3.74).


Who receives a diploma at Commencement?

Only students who have met all obligations (parking tickets, financial, academic, testing, library, etc.) receive diplomas. Please check with the appropriate offices at least a week before Commencement.

Teacher Licensure

Students seeking teacher licensure will complete an application for Tennessee teacher licensure during EDUC 460/560, Capstone Seminar. If you have questions concerning the application process, contact Karen Hill, Office Manager for Teacher Education, at or 423.461.8927.

Required Loan Counseling Session

All traditional undergraduate students who borrowed federal loans are required to attend a loan counseling session. The Student Financial Services Office will offer two sessions before the end of the fall semester. An SFS representative will contact students with information regarding the dates and times of these Exit Interview Counseling sessions.