Morganton Commencement

1st Commencement Exercises

Friday, May 24, 2024, at 9 a.m.

Please join us as we graduate our first class of Residential students on Friday, May 24, on the school’s Morganton campus. The 145 accomplished candidates represent all 13 Congressional Districts across the state of North Carolina. 

Location: Lawn outside of the Barn

Guests: The ceremony is open to NCSSM seniors and their families. While we welcome the Class of 2025 to participate in Commencement, junior attendance is not mandatory. No tickets are required UNLESS inclement weather necessitates moving indoors. If Commencement is moved indoors, each graduating senior will receive 4 tickets to attend Commencement at the CoMMA, the City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium. If the ceremony is moved indoors, juniors (outside of Marshals and those performing music) will not participate in the ceremony and will move out of their rooms. Juniors and their families will be able to view livestream of Commencement from off campus. As a reminder, all students must move out of their residence hall rooms and check out with their CC no later than 5 p.m. on Commencement day, May 24. 

Seating: Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no assigned seating. We ask that everyone be in their seats by no later than 8:45 a.m.

Ceremony: Remarks from the Chancellor, Commencement Speaker, and Student Speakers. Awarding of diplomas will conclude the ceremony.

Post-Commencement Reception: Immediately following Commencement, there will be a small reception outside of the Academic Commons. Dessert and drinks will be provided.

Junior Participation: The junior class has the option of remaining on campus after exams, participating in end-of-year activities and in the Commencement exercises. Juniors who plan to participate in Commencement will be required to commit to the following:

Juniors who do not wish to participate in Commencement will be required to move out of their residence hall room and check out with their CC no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 23.

All juniors will be asked to confirm their plans via a Google form from Student Life. *This form is currently under construction by our Student Life Team and will be shared out mid-late April.

Livestream, Professional Photographs

Commencement Livestream

The entire event will be streamed live on the NCSSM YouTube channel.

Senior Class Photo

The official group photo of the Class of 2024, taken on March 4, will be available for ordering online. Orders are placed online with a credit card and prints will be shipped to the address of the buyer, NOT to the school. Information from John S. Payne Photography will be forthcoming and will be distributed via email to all students and families.

Individual Commencement Photos

A Strawbridge Studios photographer will be on site to take each senior’s photograph as they receive their diploma. Academic Programs provides each family with a complimentary copy of the photograph that will be mailed home during the summer. Strawbridge is happy to provide families an opportunity, following Commencement, to purchase additional copies or different sizes of the photo if they desire. Families should use their NCSSM email account to access the photo page. Please utilize the information in the flyer below to access and order the photo approximately one week following Commencement.

Coming to NCSSM

Recommended Items to Bring


Restrooms in the Residence Hall as well as in Academic Commons will be open and cleaned periodically.

Inclement Weather

In the case of inclement weather, the decision to move the location of the ceremony will be made by 7 a.m. on the day of the event, and will be posted on the school’s website. The NCSSM-Morganton community will also be notified via email and text message if the ceremony location and/or time changes. If inclement weather necessitates moving indoors, Commencement will be held indoors at the CoMMA, the City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium. Each graduating senior will receive 4 tickets to attend Commencement at the CoMMA. Note: Families and friends can view the livestream from any location.

Dress code for all students

All seniors will wear their NCSSM graduation regalia including cap, tassel, gown, stole, and NCSSM medallion with acceptable clothing underneath their regalia. Students are not permitted to decorate their caps or wear any additional items with their regalia. All juniors participating in Commencement must wear also appropriate attire. Examples are listed below:

Acceptable clothing:

Unacceptable clothing (includes but not limited to):

If a student has any questions about whether an item of clothing is acceptable or not, email Mrs. Lambert ( for approval.

Parking and Accessibility

Visitors will enter campus via Burkemont Avenue and will be directed to Commencement parking. If you are directed to park at Western Piedmont, shuttles will be provided from WPCC back to the NCSSM-Morganton campus.

Please be mindful of bag sizes and limit larger items being brought to Commencement from the parking lot via the shuttle or personal vehicles. We have also provided a list of hotels in the area.

A limited number of disabled accessible parking spaces are available. Cars must have their disabled parking permit in order to utilize an accessible parking space on campus. The request for specialized parking is included in the NCSSM-Morganton Commencement 2024: RSVP and Accommodations Request Form. Each graduating senior is required to complete one form per student/family by May 10. Limit one space per senior. Any requests made after May 10 are not guaranteed.

Disabled accessible seating is available upon request. Please indicate this request on the the NCSSM-Morganton Commencement 2024: RSVP and Accommodations Request Form by May 10 to request seating in this section. Space is limited, and entire parties cannot be accommodated in the reserved seating section.


Suzanne Lambert

Office Manager/Academic Programs Coordinator