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Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

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Media Advisory

For immediate use

May 9, 2006 -- No. 254

Kopp speech, honorary degrees
among commencement highlights

Sunday (May 14), 9:30 a.m., Kenan Memorial Stadium
Severe weather site, Dean E. Smith Center

Wendy Kopp, president and founder of Teach for America, will give the commencement address Sunday (May 14) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Commencement will begin in Kenan Memorial Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Chancellor James Moeser will preside.

Speaker: Kopp conceived the idea for Teach for America when she was a senior at Princeton University. Teach for America recruits graduating seniors from top colleges to teach for two years, at entry-level wages, in some of the nation's most disadvantaged grade schools.

UNC ranks among the top three schools nationally in participation in Teach for America, and estimates are that 250 UNC graduates will have joined Teach for America by the end of the year.

For more information and a photo of Kopp, visit

Media parking: A limited number of spaces will be reserved in the Public Safety lot off Manning Drive. From Manning Drive, media vehicles should turn onto Emergency Drive, the road to the emergency room, then turn left into the Public Safety lot. Media identification will be required. Traffic into Chapel Hill is expected to be slow and heavy from about 8-9:45 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 vehicles back to the Public Safety lot. After 7:30 a.m., media representatives should walk north to Gate 6 of Kenan. Media identification will be required.

Construction projects may affect certain routes through campus. Media representatives are encouraged to visit for information on road closings. Members of the media also may use lots and shuttles provided for commencement guests, and information is 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 Services' staff at the media seating area.

Broadcasters, videographers and photographers: Access at the field and surrounding track level will be limited to the designated media seating area. A multbox to supply audio feeds will be 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 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 still photography-related questions.

Graduates: 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. The University Registrar has estimated 5,377 expected graduates: 3,053 bachelor's, 1,338 master's, 325 doctoral and 661 professional degrees and certificates. News Services will provide updates as they are available, but an exact number of May graduates will not be available Sunday.

Honorary degrees: This year's honorary degree recipients are: Joyce Conseen Dugan, Thomas Stephen Kenan III, Robert Ray Morgan and John Shelby Spong. Dugan and Kenan will receive honorary doctor of laws degrees; Morgan will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree; and Spong will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. For detailed biographical information on them, visit

Other ceremonies: UNC will hold a doctoral hooding ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday (May 13) in Memorial Hall. Graduate students will be called to the stage to have the hood of the commencement regalia conferred by their advisers or dissertation committee chairpersons.

The speaker for the doctoral hooding ceremony will be Dr. Lee Limbird, a researcher and scientist. Since 1979, Limbird (who received her doctorate in biochemistry from UNC) has led a research laboratory focusing on the bases for the actions of epinephrine and norepinephrine, using strategies that range from the molecular to those in whole organisms, including genetically engineered mice. The work of Limbird and her colleagues has led to a possible novel therapeutic strategy to treat ADHD and prevent depression.

For more information on the ceremony, click on

Several individual schools and departments also will hold their own ceremonies this weekend. Locations and times for other ceremonies are at

Severe weather: Heavy rain with high winds or lightning could move UNC's commencement ceremony to the Dean E. Smith Center. That decision would be made early morning on the day of the event. News Services would notify radio and TV stations as soon as possible on Sunday morning. The change also would be posted to the UNC Web site:

Smith Center parking, media kit, seating: If severe weather moved the ceremony to the Smith Center, 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 would be in the area closest to Bowles, beside Koury Natatorium.

Pick up media kits from the News Services' staff on the arena floor at the bottom of sections 123 or 124. There would be no reserved seats; reporters would sit in the guest section. Audio and video feeds would be available.

Access for photographers and videographers would be limited. University representatives would be on hand to provide escorts for facing the platform in the center aisle where some graduates and faculty sit, and answer questions. For other B-roll opportunities, see Karen Moon at the bottom of section 123.

More commencement details are at

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News Services contacts: Print: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093 (work) or (919) 638-0474 (cell); or LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589 or Broadcast: Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595 (work) or (919) 218-2467 (cell)