Williams Reminds Lee Graduates “They Have What it Takes” 

Events, Graduation, News

Lee University held its 187th graduation ceremonies earlier this month with North Cleveland Church of God lead pastor Dr. Mark L. Williams delivering the commencement address. 

More than 560 students earned degrees, about 100 of whom were graduate students, three being Lee’s first EdD grads and three being Lee’s first PhD grads. 

The outdoor ceremony was staged on Lee’s South Campus Quad Lawn, accommodating nearly 2,000 friends, family, and the Lee community, including more than 200 faculty and the school’s board of directors. 

Williams reminded the graduates that no matter what’s going on in the world around them, God has brought them to this time and to this world and placed gifts within each of them that can truly make a difference in the world today. 

“God says to you, ‘I know the plans I have for you, plans that will prosper you and not harm you, plans that will give you a hope and a future,’” said Williams, quoting the Scripture Jer. 29:11. “It is time to arise…cross over, and go into your future.”  

Williams graduated from Lee College in 1986 and currently serves on Lee’s Board of Directors. He has held several positions within the Church of God, including general overseer, second assistant general overseer, and member of the Council of Eighteen. 

May graduation is the largest of three held each year at Lee and the only commencement staged outside each year.  
On Friday night before commencement, the graduates, their families, and other guests gathered for a student-led Commissioning Service. Five senior speakers – Dustin DeMersseman, Joy Douglass, Tehilah Gichuru, Jordan Narkates, and Jalyn Poynter – shared their Lee experience, followed by all graduates marching across the stage to receive Bibles, each individually embossed and inscribed, in a popular Lee tradition. 

Prior to Saturday’s ceremony, there was also a hooding for students earning graduate-level degrees and a pinning service for nursing students, along with numerous special events hosted by academic schools and departments. 

In addition to the May commencement, the university conducts smaller graduation events each July and December.  

To view the graduation events in full, visit 

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