GREENVILLE, Il. - Greenville University is excited to welcome graduating students and their families to campus for a safe, in-person ceremony to celebrate the Class of 2021.

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GU expects 287 students to receive a degree this spring. Of those, 74 are expected to be awarded a master’s degree. Of the 213 undergraduates, 174 earned their degree on campus and 39 earned their degree online.

“We are so excited here at GU to be able to celebrate, in person, the accomplishments of students,” says Suzanne Davis, Greenville University president. “The 2021 class has been through a lot, battling a pandemic both their junior and senior years. Not only are we celebrating their degrees, but we are celebrating their strength, adaptability, and character to finish well in the midst of a pandemic.”

GU students and faculty are invited to attend Baccalaureate at 7 pm on Friday, May 7, 2021, at the Whitlock Music Center on campus. Dr. Brian Reinhard will give the farewell address to the graduating class. Reinhard serves as department chair of modern languages, professor of Spanish.

Greenville University will hold two outdoor Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 8, 2021, on Hogue Lawn, in the heart of campus. The University will honor students receiving degrees from the College of Social Sciences and Education at 10 am and students graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Professional Studies at 3 pm. A live stream link will be available that day on Greenville University’s website.

In the event of inclement weather, there will be a weather delay, with a plan to hold virtual ceremonies if weather conditions do not improve.

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Rev. David Hawkins will be the featured speaker at both Commencement ceremonies. Hawkins serves as lead paster of Living the Word Church in Collinsville, Illinois, and is a frequent chapel speaker at GU.

“When I consulted with senior student leaders, they indicated they wanted someone familiar with them to speak at Commencement; someone who could speak to where they’ve come from and where they are going,” President Davis says. “Reverend Hawkins has been a favorite chapel speaker for the past few years. He relates so well to our students, and we are thrilled to have him.”

Available seating permits graduates to bring up to four guests. The University will require all guests, students, staff, and faculty to comply with COVID guidelines outlined by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Those guidelines include social distancing and mask-wearing.

Click here for more details about Commencement.


Greenville University is an accredited Christian liberal arts university with more than 1,100 students, including traditional undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree completion students. Founded in 1892 and affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, the University is located in Greenville, Illinois, 45 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri.

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