Commencement Information

Commencement is a family-friendly, handicap accessible event, and the formality and decorum of the occasion are important traditions for Columbia College. The number of guests per graduate is limited due to the venue capacity. Graduating students are provided with details regarding tickets and are responsible for distributing their tickets to family/guests prior to the event. Tickets are required for admission and no tickets are issued at the door. The Columbia College Police manage event security, parking and passenger drop-off zones.

Saturday, April 30, 2016, Undergraduate Commencement will be held at 10:00 a.m., at The Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor Street. 

Carla Harris, senior executive with Morgan Stanley and chair of the National Women’s Business Council, will be keynote speaker for the April 30, 2016, undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Guests are welcome to bring cameras to use from their seat and use of a flash is prohibited during the ceremony. Columbia College contracts for professional photography and images may be purchased directly from GradImages. A photographer is positioned onstage to capture each graduate receiving their diploma from the president, who takes time to pause and turn for an ideal pose. In addition, our photographers take candids as families arrive and in the “greenroom” as graduates don their caps and gowns with classmates and faculty. 

The Columbia College faculty are important participants in this time-honored tradition and wear their formal academic regalia. The platform party, or those seated on the stage, includes senior administrators, faculty leaders, class leaders, honored guests, the Chaplain, Provost, Trustees, and the President of Columbia College. 

Columbia College presents an official diploma to each graduate during commencement. King James Bibles inscribed by members of the administration, faculty and staff are also presented during the ceremony. This tradition has endured since the earliest Columbia College graduating classes, honoring the United Methodist history and values of the College.

Graduation season in Columbia brings many guests to the city and multiple ceremonies may be happening in the Midlands on the same weekend. If needed, hotel reservations should be made as early as possible to ensure accommodations for visiting family members. 

The following hotels have special rates for Columbia College guests:

  • Staybridge Suites, downtown Vista Columbia. Call 803.451.5900.
  • Holiday Inn Express, Harbison. Call 803.732.2229
  • Wingate by Wyndham, Harbison. Call 803.407.6166

Here are links to a few other hotel choices in the downtown area:

Where to Park

Columbia College Police will be directing attendees to the available parking areas adjacent to The Township. There will be a designated handicapped drop-off zone and parking.