carolina.gif (1377 bytes)

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


Not for publication

May 14, 2003 -- No. 279

Cosby speech, honorary degrees among commencement highlights

Sunday, May 18, 9:30 a.m., Kenan Stadium
Severe weather site, Dean E. Smith Center

William H. Cosby Jr. will give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree Sunday (May 18) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The ceremony will begin in Kenan Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Chancellor James Moeser will preside.

Cosby: William H. Cosby Jr. graduated from Temple University in his native Philadelphia. He went back to college after he had achieved much of his professional success to obtain a masterís degree and a doctorate in education. Advance copies of Cosbyís speech are not expected to be available, nor will he be available for interviews.

Media parking: A limited number of spaces will be reserved in a lot off Manning Drive in front of the N.C. Neurosciences Hospital. From Manning, media vehicles should turn onto the Emergency Drive, the road to the emergency room, then immediately turn left into the Neurosciences lot. Media identification will be required. Traffic into Chapel Hill is expected to be slow and heavy from approximately 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Until 7:30 a.m., media representatives may unload heavy equipment at the north end of Emergency Drive, closer to Kenan, then move their cars back to the Neurosciences lot. After 7:30 a.m., media representatives should walk north to Gate 6 of Kenan. Media identification will be required.

Limited parking also should be available at News Services, 210 Pittsboro St. Media representatives may also use lots and shuttles provided for commencement guests. Details are available on the commencement Web site,

Media seating/kits: From Gate 6, walk left on the stadium concourse, enter at section 120, walk down to the field and turn right to reach media seating, on the field at a gated area on the south side. Pick up media kits from the UNC News Servicesí staff at the media seating area.

Broadcasters, videographers and photographers: Access at the field and surrounding track level will be limited to a the designated media seating area. A multbox to supply audio feeds will be located at this area. Broadcasters are asked to bring their own drop cords. University representatives will be on hand to guide media to this area, provide escorts for cut-away shots facing the platform in the center aisle where some graduates and faculty sit, and answer questions. The setup will include a good spot from which to get crowd reaction. Media representatives 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.

raduates: May commencement is held for students completing degree work this spring. UNC also holds a mid-year ceremony in December to recognize students who finished in August and December. As of May 12, the University Registrar had identified 5,384 May degree candidates: 2,996 bachelorís, 1,337 masterís, 376 doctoral, 648 professional and 27 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.

In May 2002, UNC conferred 4,394 degrees: 2,666 bachelorís, 996 masterís, 155 doctoral and 561 professional and 16 certificates.

Honorary degrees: This yearís honorary degree recipients are:

For details, visit

Other ceremonies: For the first time, UNC will hold a doctoral hooding ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday (May 17) on Polk Place, the scenic quadrangle between Wilson Library and South Building. Carmichael Auditorium will be the rain site. For more information, visit Media parking for this ceremony will be in Bynum Circle off Cameron Avenue. Several individual schools and departments will hold their own ceremonies this weekend. Speakers will include Claude Allen, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at the School of Public Health Ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday (May 18) in the Dean E. Smith Center. President Bush recently nominated Allen, a UNC alumnus, for a judgeship on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Robert Ingram, vice chairman pharmaceuticals and former chief operating officer at GlaxoSmithKline, will speak at the Kenan-Flagler Business Schoolís ceremony for masterís of business administration graduates, at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Smith Center.

Severe weather: Heavy rain with high winds or lightening could move the commencement ceremony to the Dean E. Smith Center. That decision would be made by 6:30 a.m. on the day of the event. News Services would notify radio and TV stations as soon after that as possible on Sunday morning. The change also would be posted to the UNC Web site,

Smith Center parking: Media parking would be accessed from the U.S. 15-501 Bypass, Fordham Boulevard. Media vehicles would turn north onto Manning Drive, left into the first entrance to Bowles Drive, and left into the driveway leading to the rear of the center. Media parking will be in the area closest to Bowles, beside Koury Natatorium. Radio and TV crews may unload heavy equipment at the tunnel entrance behind the Smith Center and then park behind the natatorium.

Smith Center media kit/seating: Pick up media kits from the News Servicesí staff on the arena floor at the bottom of sections 123 or 124. There are no reserved seats; reporters may sit in the guest section. Audio feeds will be available. Access for photographers and videographers will be limited.

- 30 -

Contacts: Print, L.J. Toler: work, 919-962-8589; home, 919-403-8141; cell, 919-219-6374.
Broadcast: Karen Moon: work, 919-962-8595; home, 919-933-9277; cell, 919-218-2467.