In the weeks leading up to Spring Commencement, Chancellor Carol L. Folt and other University leaders celebrated with seniors at graduation ceremonies across campus.
The graduations began the weekend of May 5 with ceremonies highlighting the accomplishments of first-generation master’s and doctoral students with Carolina Grad Students F1RSTS and LGBTQIA+ identified students participating in the Lavender Graduation.
On May 11, Folt celebrated the 53 graduating military-affiliated students at the Red, White and Carolina Blue Commencement. Each student received a red, white and blue honor cord in recognition of their military service and academic achievement.
“As Chancellor, I want to express our entire community’s appreciation to the men and women who serve,” she said. “All of you, like your predecessors, have made an incredible mark on the hearts of Carolina.”
That afternoon, the Black Student Movement graduation recognized 52 students graduating with the Class of 2018. Held for the first time this year, the BSM graduation ceremony celebrated the achievements of black student graduates.
Folt lauded students not only for their academic accomplishments but also their advocacy for critical issues including faculty diversity and an inclusive campus climate.
“[Since its founding] the BSM has remained such a powerful and aspirational voice for change and for appreciating black culture,” she said. “Seniors, you have continued this legacy in so many ways.”
Folt also joined students at the Buckley Public Service Scholars ceremony, which recognized the 307 seniors who completed the requirements of the service-driven program. Together, the students reported more than 130,800 hours of service in North Carolina, across the United States and in eight other countries.
“Public service is a defining quality of this institution and of the Carolina experience,” said Carolina’s executive vice provost Ron Strauss. “All that you have done is in the name of service, engagement and scholarship. … You have earned this honor, and we are so very proud of teaching you.”