Commencement Information


Spring 2021 Commencement Videos

Thursday, May 6 Ceremony at College of Charleston Patriots Point Soccer Stadium 

Friday, May 7 Ceremonies in the Cistern Yard 

Saturday, May 8 Ceremonies in the Cistern Yard

Commencement Speakers

Helen Turner Hill

helen hill

Helen Turner Hill is the chief executive officer of Explore Charleston (also known as the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau). The nonprofit organization represents 800 member businesses and ten municipal governments in the tri-county region with the mission to create overnight visitation and support responsible development through travel and tourism strategies. Growing up in Charleston provided Hill with unique insights that she has put to use throughout her more than 30 years of promoting the region as a leisure and business destination. Hill will be awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctorate Letters from the College.

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis

Andrew H. Lewis retired in 2017 after 40 years of service to the College of Charleston. During his tenure, Lewis served in the following administrator positions: department chair for the Department of Health and Human Performance for 11 years (first African American to chair an academic department); interim assistant dean for undergraduate studies; associate dean for the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance; and director of Professional Development in Education. Lewis, who was among the first African American professors to join the College’s faculty in the 1970s, says, “My students are my legacy.”

Andrew Sobiesuo

Andrew Sobiesuo

Andrew M. Sobiesuo served as associate provost for the Center for International Education at the College of Charleston and senior international officer. He provided vision and leadership in the development, implementation and management of all international programs and services in compliance with college, state and federal regulations. He retired in 2020 after 30 years of service at the College. As a crusader for study abroad and international education Sobiesou says, “Creating opportunities for students to see the world – for students to get to know that there’s more beyond their own comfort zones – has been the highlight of my career at the College.”

Nigel Redden

nigel redden

Nigel Redden is the general director of Spoleto Festival USA. Redden began his career with Spoleto while still in college as a studente assistente at the Festival of Two Worlds in Italy. He rejoined Spoleto Festival USA in October 1995 after having previously served as the festival’s general manager from 1986 to 1991. As general director, Redden has ensured the economic security of the festival, spearheading an endowment campaign and carrying Spoleto through many difficult times, most recently the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At Spoleto Festival USA, Redden has championed emerging artists, commissioned new operas and overseen significant art exhibitions. Redden has also been instrumental in the restoration of both the Dock Street Theatre and Festival Hall, formerly Memminger Auditorium. In 2013, Redden received an Honorary Degree of Doctorate Letters from the College.

Valerie Morris

Valerie Morris

Valerie B. Morris served as dean of the College of Charleston’s School of the Arts from the fall of 1998 until she retired in 2020. As dean, she oversaw the departments of Art History, Music, Studio Art, and Theatre and Dance, plus programs in arts management and historic preservation and community planning. She was responsible for the production of approximately 200 events per year and provided leadership in cultural education, programming and scholarships for the school and community.



 2020 Commencement

Who Participated

All candidates who graduated in Spring/Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and all candidates eligible to graduate in Spring/Summer 2021 may participate in these Spring 2021 ceremonies, INCLUDING those who participated in the October 2020 ceremonies in Cistern Yard.

The April 27 deadline for graduates to complete a participation survey and request any changes has passed. For information on this, please read commencement participation information. 

A graduation application is required before a student is eligible to participate in an upcoming commencement ceremony. Failure to complete the application promptly can result in a delay in both degree posting and diploma ordering, and it can also result in the student's name being omitted from the commencement program and ceremony ticket list. (Participation in commencement is assumed and encouraged, however, it is not mandatory. The Qualtrics Participation Choice survey is not a substitute for a graduation application. Please apply as directed.)

  » Undergraduate Student Graduation Application
  » Graduate Student Graduation Application