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Marking a milestone: Carolina’s Class of 2020 celebrates graduation virtually

Graduates can celebrate their achievements with a video watch party on Sunday; plans in the works to host graduation ceremony at a later date

Detail image of graduation tassels on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Chapel Hill, N.C. (May 6, 2020) – The UNC-Chapel Hill Class of 2020 will go to Carolina in their minds for graduation day as the campus remains closed to non-essential business in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Shortly after spring break, students and faculty nimbly adapted from in-person to remote instruction. Now, the students who would be turning their tassels on May 10 in Kenan Memorial Stadium will mark the day unlike any other class in Carolina’s history.


At 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 10, the University will hold a video watch party on Facebook and YouTube so graduates and their families can celebrate together until it’s safe to hold an in-person ceremony. The stream will include special messages to the Class of 2020, highlights from their time at Carolina and virtual performances by Harmonyx and the Clef Hangers.


Look for more celebratory content throughout the weekend on Carolina’s Twitter and Instagram accounts including images of the Bell Tower lit up in blue to honor the Class of 2020 and video messages from Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and scheduled commencement speaker, New York Times columnist and Carolina alumnus Frank Bruni.


While these springtime celebrations will happen virtually, there’s no substitute for coming together with classmates to mark this milestone. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz has promised students they will not miss that pivotal part of their Carolina journey. Plans are in works to host the Class of 2020 back on campus for a postponed ceremony.


In addition, many students had to forgo the traditional Carolina senior rites of passage such as climbing the Bell Tower and taking photos on campus in their Carolina blue caps and gowns. But as students and graduates know, Carolina is more than a physical location. The University is encouraging graduates to mark their achievements from wherever they’re celebrating with these virtual tools and experiences:





About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools including the College of Arts & Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s 336,392 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories and 164 countries. More than 182,182 live in North Carolina.


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