Spring Commencement

Ceremony Information

May 14th, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.
Kenan Stadium

Commencement Speaker


Brooke Baldwin, CNN news anchor and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will deliver the Commencement address at the University on May 14 in Kenan Stadium.

full news release

Special Guests

Honorary Degree Recipients

Three celebrated individuals will receive honorary degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Spring Commencement on May 14th.

  • Fred N. Eshelman

    Fred Eshelman is Chairman of The Medicines Company (MDCO), and is the founder of Eshelman Ventures LLC, an investment company primarily interested in private healthcare companies. Read Fred N. Eshelman's biography...

  • Patricia D. Horoho

    In December 2015 Lieutenant General (Retired) Patricia D. Horoho completed her 4 year tour of duty as the first female and nurse to command the U.S. Army’s Medical Command and serve as the Surgeon General of a Military Department throughout the 239 year history of the Department of Defense. Read Patricia D. Horoho's biography...

  • Thomas Forrest Kelly

    Thomas Forrest Kelly is Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard University, where he served as Chair of the Music Department from 1999 to 2004. In 2005 he was named a Harvard College Professor in recognition of his teaching of undergraduates... Read Thomas Forrest Kelly's biography...

Instructions for Graduate Candidates

Graduate Candidates should line up no later than 8:30 a.m. Masters/PhD’s candidates should report to the Charlie Choo Choo Justice Statue in front of the Kenan Football Center. Undergraduates should report to the Loudermilk Lot via the outside of the stadium. The processional will start at 9:00 a.m. promptly. Should the ceremony be postponed due to weather, candidates will line up 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. At the conclusion of the ceremony ALL graduates will exit up through the stadium stands. (You will not exit the same way you entered).

If severe weather is expected Commencement morning, the University may postpone the ceremony to allow for the threat to pass. Check the unc.edu and commencement.unc.edu websites and/or also local tv and radio stations. If there are weather-related delays, the latest possible start time for Commencement would be 11:00am.

  • If it rains during Commencement, the Chancellor and organizers may shorten the ceremony, but it will not be relocated.
  • If severe weather threatens, while the ceremony is in progress and attendees’ safety is at risk, the ceremony would be canceled and guests will be advised to seek shelter. The ceremony would not resume.
  • Umbrellas will be permitted, but guests should use caution when opening umbrellas and be mindful of those seated around them.