College of Charleston English Professor Simon Lewis will be the commencement speaker at the College’s winter commencement ceremony on Dec. 18, 2021.

simon lewis

Simon Lewis

More than 100 students are expected to receive their degrees during the ceremony. Commencement begins at 2 p.m. and will be held in the College of Charleston’s TD Arena at 301 Meeting St.  The College has a clear bag policy for its ticketed events, including Commencement. Only clear bags and small, clutch-size purses are allowed in TD Arena. Each graduate will receive 10 tickets for guests through their CofC email approximately one week prior to the ceremony.

Lewis, who joined CofC’s Department of English in 1996, specializes in African and postcolonial literature. For the last two decades, he has been associated with the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) program either as an associate director or director. He has also previously served as director of the College’s African Studies Program and the African American Studies Program. He also previously served as associate dean in the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs for five years. The S.C. Humanities Council recently honored Lewis for his his scholarship and service in the field of the humanities with the 2021 Governor’s Award.

steve and mary osborne

Stephen and Mary Osborne at a reception in 2019.

The College of Charleston will present an honorary degree to former CofC interim President Stephen “Steve” Osborne ’73 and his late wife, Mary Turner Osborne, during the ceremony.

For guests who are unable to attend the ceremony, live video of the event will be broadcast on the College’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the following COVID-19 protocols will be in place for 2021 winter commencement: 

Face Coverings: Face coverings must be worn correctly at all times except as noted: When crossing the stage, three photographs will be taken in quick succession, and you do not have to wear your face covering for these photographs. Your covering can stay off for these three professional photo shots: 1. Before you cross the stage; 2. On the stage at a safe social distance with President Hsu; and 3. After you exit the stage. After your three photographs have been taken, please immediately put your face covering back on. Note: There will be no diplomas handed out and no handshakes. Master’s candidates will process wearing their hoods, instead of the traditional “hooding” ceremony.

Social Distancing: This will be a no contact event and social distancing of a minimum of 3-feet is mandatory. Guests are encouraged to sit in social pods and try to keep a distance of 3-feet from other pods.