Spring Commencement update from April 1

Carolina announces its Spring Commencement schedule and provides an update on ticket information.

Dear Carolina Community,

We are diligently preparing for and excited to welcome back a time-honored tradition at Carolina — Spring Commencement in Kenan Stadium. As we previously announced, we will host multiple ticketed, in-person ceremonies, May 14-16, for students who have registered to attend. I’m also pleased to announce that we will be able to grant the specific number of guest tickets requested (up to four tickets) for those who requested them in their registration.

Before I share other details, on behalf of the faculty, I want to thank all of you, especially our graduating seniors, for your perseverance this year. The sacrifices you have made have not been easy, and I’m grateful for your commitment to following our COVID-19 Community Standards to keep everyone safe. Our plans are still contingent on current public health guidance, and we are counting on you to continue to wear a mask, remain six feet apart and wash your hands often. Please also continue to get tested regularly and sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to you.

Ceremony details

We are delighted that almost 5,000 students have registered to attend a ceremony in Kenan Stadium. To comply with mass gathering orders, we will hold five ceremonies over three days and require all attendees to follow our COVID-19 Community Standards, including wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing. Although Governor Cooper has eased certain restrictions, physical distancing and masks are still required on campus and in North Carolina.

Students will be grouped by their school or department in the College of Arts & Sciences so that classmates can celebrate together. Students within the College of Arts & Sciences can confirm their division on the College’s website. Graduates from December 2020, May 2021 and August 2021 were invited to register to attend. Each ceremony will feature live and pre-recorded content, including Commencement addresses by public health experts Drs. Anthony Fauci and Kizzmekia Corbett, a Carolina alumna. The full schedule is below.

Commencement Ceremony 1
4 p.m., Friday, May 14

Adams School of Dentistry, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Medicine and School of Social Work

Commencement Ceremony 2
9 a.m., Saturday, May 15
Hussman School of Journalism and Media, School of Education, College of Arts & Sciences – Undergraduate Curricula, Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Bachelor of Science in Biology, Bachelor of Science in Biomedical and Health Sciences Engineering

Commencement Ceremony 3
2 p.m., Saturday, May 15
Kenan-Flagler Business School, School of Information and Library Science, School of Government and School of Law

Commencement Ceremony 4
9 a.m., Sunday, May 16
College of Arts & Sciences – Fine Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences

Commencement Ceremony 5
2 p.m., Sunday, May 16
College of Arts & Sciences – Natural Sciences and Mathematics
(Note that some departments in the Natural Sciences are included in Commencement Ceremony 2)

Graduate School students

Students graduating with advanced degrees and enrolled in The Graduate School will be assigned to the ceremony corresponding with their school or department of study. The Graduate School will also host a virtual Doctoral Hooding Celebration.

Ticket information

Graduates who have registered to attend an in-person ceremony will receive an email from the Commencement team with more information next week. Please note that tickets will be issued for a specific ceremony, and students must attend the ceremony they are assigned. Tickets are non-transferrable.

Guest tickets

We will be able to provide the number of guest tickets that each student registered for, up to, but not exceeding four tickets. Graduates who want to check how many tickets they registered for can log in to HeelLife, then select “Forms.” Click on “View Submissions” located in the top right-hand corner, then select “2021 Spring Commencement Registration” by clicking on the eye under the “Action” column. If you selected additional ticket needs, in addition to the two tickets originally allocated per student, you will receive the number of tickets you specifically requested, up to, but not exceeding four tickets. We are unable to accept additional requests as we have already reached capacity. Guest tickets will be emailed to graduates closer to Commencement weekend.

Next steps

Registration for student and guest tickets is now closed, and we invite those not registered and other family and friends to watch the livestream. Each ceremony will be livestreamed and available for viewing on the University’s YouTube channel. More information will be available on the Commencement website.

While the ceremonies in Kenan Stadium will be the only in-person Commencement events, schools, units and departments may choose to recognize graduates virtually. Check with your school, unit or department about any additional plans.

Graduates, look out for more information from the Office of University Events next week. If you have any questions, the Commencement team is here to help. You may reach them at commencement@unc.edu or 919-962-9154.

Please continue to stay safe and well, and I look forward to celebrating with you next month.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz