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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


For immediate use

 May 16, 2001 -- No. 249

Speech by UNC graduate and TV anchor, honorary degrees to highlight commencement

Sunday (May 20), 9:30 a.m., Kenan Stadium
Severe weather site, Dean E. Smith Center

ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate Stuart Scott will give the commencement address Sunday (May 20) at UNC. The ceremony will begin in Kenan Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Chancellor James Moeser will preside. More general details are available at

Scottís speech: Advance copies of Scottís speech will be available. News Services plans to issue a transcript Sunday afternoon. Reporters covering the ceremony who need copies later should tell News Services representatives how to contact them.

Scott Ė who graduated from UNC in 1987 with a bachelorís degree in speech communications and radio, television and motion pictures Ė joined ESPN in 1993 for the launch of ESPN2 as a host of short sports update segments. Today, his primary role is anchoring "SportsCenter," working either the 11 p.m. ET show or the 10 and 11 p.m. PT programs. After serving as an original "SportSmash" anchor on ESPN2ís "SportsNight," Scott has served as host of "Edge NFL Matchup," a weekly 30-minute show that previews select NFL games; ESPN2ís "NBA 2Night," the NBA news and highlight program; and ESPN2ís "SportsNight: College Football Edition."

He has also covered the MLB playoffs and NCAA Final Four in 1995 and the NBA Finals for "SportsCenter" since 1997. In the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals, Scottís coverage included exclusive, one-on-one interviews with Michael Jordan. He has also interviewed Tiger Woods, Sammy Sosa and President Bill Clinton.

Prior to joining ESPN, Scott worked as a reporter or anchor for several television stations, including WRAL-TV in Raleigh (1988-90). While at UNC, he worked at student radio station WXYC-FM as a sports and news reporter and played wide receiver and defensive back for a club football team.

Media parking: Limited spaces are available in the Student Health Service parking lot off Gravely Drive (from Manning Drive) and behind Gate 6 of Kenan Stadium. TV crews or others with heavy equipment will receive priority. Monitors will ask for media identification. Parking is also available at News Services, 210 Pittsboro St., or in most south campus lots. Shuttle service also will be available.

Media entry/seating/kits: Media representatives should enter the stadium at the field-level gate through Gate 6 and proceed to Section 120. Media kits will be available from News Services staff stationed at Section 120. Limited reserved seating for reporters will be available in the first two rows of that section.

Broadcasters, videographers and photographers: Access at field and surrounding track level will be limited to a designated area on the field: A cordoned area has been reserved especially for photographers and videographers near Section 120 at the end of the field facing the Field House and near the student seating area. A multbox to supply audio feeds will be located at this area. University representatives will be on hand to guide media to this area and answer any questions. Photographers and videographers will not be permitted in student or guest seating areas. Call Karen Moon at (919) 962-8595 with specific questions about television and Dan Sears at (919) 962-8592 with specific photography-related questions.

Graduates: May commencement is held for students completing degree work this spring. As of May 15, the University Registrar had identified 5,227 May degree candidates: 2,927 bachelorís, 1,335 masterís, 384 doctoral, 571 professional and 10 certificates. Those numbers are expected to drop as officials verify who has met academic requirements after exams. News Services will provide updates as they are available but an exact number of May graduates will not be available Sunday.

Honorary degrees: This yearís honorary degree recipients are:

Dr. David Satcher, 16th Surgeon General of the United States.

Dr. Dennis Gillings, chairman of Quintiles Transnational Corp. (and former biostatistics professor at UNC).

Gladys Hall Coates, researcher and writer of UNC history (who will turn 99 years old the day before spring commencement, May 19).

Tom Wicker, UNC journalism graduate who retired in 1991 after a 30-year career with The New York Times.

Dr. Billy Taylor, Greenville native, and jazz composer, educator, writer, scholar and performer.

For more information on honorary degree recipients, please click on

Other ceremonies: N.C. Sen. John Edwards will give the keynote address for the School of Law ceremony, scheduled for 3 p.m. May 20 at Memorial Hall. Edwards received his law degree from the UNC School of Law in 1977. Satcher, the U.S. Surgeon General, will deliver the keynote address for the School of Public Health ceremony, scheduled for 5 p.m. May 20 at Memorial Hall. Rep. Charles Whitlow Norwood, who represents the 10th Congressional District of Georgia, will give the keynote address for the School of Dentistry ceremony, scheduled for 1 p.m. May 20 at Carmichael Auditorium.

Severe weather: Heavy rain with high winds or lightning could move the commencement ceremony to the Dean E. Smith Center. That decision would be made by 6:30 a.m. the day of the event. News Services will notify radio and TV stations as soon after that as possible on Sunday morning. Please page News Services, 216-2584, for information on Smith Center media kit distribution, seating and parking concerns that day, in the event of severe weather.

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News Services contact: Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595 (w), (919) 933-9277 (h), 216-9256 (pager), 218-2467 (cell)