LR to host commencement ceremonies for 2024 graduating classes

In the second week of May, Lenoir-Rhyne University will hold commencement ceremonies recognizing the Class of 2024 at our three campus locations in Hickory, N.C., Asheville, N.C. and Columbia, S.C.

Class officers Diego Sanjuan and Bethany Perry lead the line of 2024 graduates

“This is one of my favorite times of the year, when we celebrate our graduates’ hard work, growth and extraordinary accomplishments,” said Fred Whitt, Ed.D., university president. “We share our Bears’ joy and excitement as they prepare to move into the next phase of their lives, and we wish them the very best.”

Commencement Ceremonies
  • Thursday, May 9, 10 a.m. — Columbia and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary graduate students, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
  • Friday, May 10, 6 p.m. — Hickory undergraduate and graduate students, Moretz Stadium
  • Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. — Asheville graduate students, Wortham Center for the Performing Arts
Lenoir-Rhyne Graduating Student Highlights
  • As a Lineberger Fellow, English major Kiera Elliott has rubbed elbows with the literary giants of the Visiting Writers Series. As the editor of the Lenoir-Rhyne literary magazine Cantos, she has guided and developed her peers’ creativity. When she graduates, she plans to bring her focus back to her own writing.

  • In a somewhat accident-prone childhood, Colby Mashburn met plenty of nurses before he came to Lenoir-Rhyne and decided he wanted to be one. Hundreds of hours of study and clinical experience have strengthened his attention to detail and commitment to patient care. 

  • After accepting a soccer scholarship, Salma Ramirez-Sanchez made a radical relocation from her home in southern Spain to western North Carolina to come to LR. A biochemistry major, she has embraced every aspect of college life, from honors research to Outdoor Activity Club to even a brief turn with the Model United Nations.

  • A 2011 LR graduate, Stephanie Watts returned in 2020 to begin her master’s degree in human services. While balancing work and graduate school, she was inspired to make an even greater impact on her community by becoming a foster parent to four infants between 2020 and 2023 – and now she is in the process of adopting two of them. 

For those unable to join us in person on the Hickory campus, a commencement live stream will be available at

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