Williams to Speak at May Commencement

Events, Graduation, News
Mark Williams (2)

Lee University will hold its 187th commencement ceremonies for spring graduates May 5-6. Dr. Mark L. Williams, Lee alum and North Cleveland Church of God lead pastor, will deliver the commencement address on Saturday morning.

“We are honored to have Dr. Mark Williams as our commencement speaker. He loves Lee University, especially our students,” said Lee President Dr. Mark Walker. “He has been a pastor to many of them over the years, and he is now. Dr. Williams has also served as a chapel and convocation speaker numerous times at Lee. He always brings something encouraging and insightful to our students when he speaks, and we know he will do the same for our graduates. We are excited to hear from him.”

Since his graduation from Lee College in 1986, Williams’ service to the Church of God has made him one of the most prominent figures in the denomination. Throughout his extensive career, he has held several positions within the Church of God, including general overseer, second assistant general overseer, and member of the Council of Eighteen.

Williams has long been a consistent and persuasive advocate for higher education in the church, particularly for the strategic role Lee University plays in offering spiritual and intellectual leadership within the school’s sponsoring denomination, and currently serves as a member of Lee’s Board of Directors.

He holds an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Lee University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He also earned a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Divinity from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary.

Graduation festivities will begin with a hooding ceremony for students earning graduate degrees. This service is a ticketed event and will take place in Pangle Hall on Friday, May 5, at 4:30 p.m.

Following the Friday hooding ceremony, all graduates will march in the commissioning service at 6:30 p.m. on the South Campus Quad Lawn. During commissioning, a special occasion for students and their families to reflect on their experiences at the university, five student speakers will share brief stories about their time at Lee. Students will also lead in the invocation, special music, and the benediction. Each graduate will be presented with a personalized Bible in a traditional walk across the stage.

A reception for guests and graduates will take place at the Darlia McLuhan Conn Forum following the commissioning service.

The commencement ceremony on Saturday morning is the official conferral of degrees and recognition of academic achievement. Each graduate will cross the stage and be congratulated by Lee President Dr. Mark Walker as Dr. Debbie Murray, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, recognizes each student by name.

The commissioning and commencement services will not require tickets unless inclement weather shifts the ceremony inside of the Paul Dana Walker Arena, where seating is limited. Climate-controlled overflow seating for both services will also be available.

Over 570 degrees are set to be conferred, about 100 of which are for graduate students. This year’s graduation exercises will also feature Lee’s first EdD and PhD graduates. Six graduates in total will receive these doctorates, with three earning the Doctor of Education and three the Doctor of Philosophy.

The hooding, commissioning, and commencement ceremonies will be available for livestream viewing at

For more information about commencement exercises, contact the Academic Events Office at [email protected] or visit Graduation Information.

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