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A Year in Review 2021-2022

The 2021-2022 academic year was a memorable one at Carolina.

The Class of 2020 returned to celebrate their achievements. A junior won a gold medal in Tokyo. Three Tar Heels were named Rhodes Scholars. And after a hiatus because of the pandemic, many Carolina traditions returned to campus.

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that shaped this year.

Fall 2021

Welcoming the newest Tar Heels

Carolina welcomed more than 7,500 new students to campus to kick off the academic year, and many Week of Welcome traditions returned, including Sunset Serenade and New Student Convocation.

Meet the Class of 2024
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50 years of women’s athletics

Carolina Athletics honored 50 years of women’s athletics, celebrating the many champions, legends and leaders who have shaped the landscape of women’s sports in Chapel Hill. In the 1971-72 academic year, women’s basketball, field hockey, volleyball, fencing, swimming and diving, tennis and gymnastics became varsity sports as part of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, marking the first official season of women’s athletics at Carolina.

From year one to year 50 of intercollegiate women’s sports in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels have been winners. Consistent victories have helped set a standard for the entire athletic department. Of Carolina’s 55 national championships, 39 came from women’s teams.

50 years of carolina women's athletics.

Commencement celebrations

Chapel Hill took time to celebrate in the fall as the University held two Commencement ceremonies to recognize two classes of graduating Tar Heels.

In October, we welcomed back the Class of 2020 for a three-day celebration that included tailgates, Bell Tower Climbs and reunions. The weekend concluded with a long-awaited graduation ceremony where graduates received words of advice from retired men’s basketball coach Roy Williams.

In December, Carolina recognized more than 1,300 graduates at the annual Winter Commencement and celebrated all that those graduates achieved in the face of adversity.

Students celebrate in Kenan Stadium.

World-class academics

Carolina continued to hold its place as one of the best-ranked universities for value and academic programs this year.

In the fall, U.S. News & World Report ranked Carolina fifth among public universities for the 21st consecutive year and named UNC-Chapel Hill the best value among public universities for the 17th time. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Carolina 52nd among the world’s top 1,600 research universities.

In addition to the rankings, three Tar Heels — Takhona Hlatshwako, Justin Hadad and Kimathi Muiruri— were named Rhodes Scholars.

The Old Well.

Top fall stories

Spring 2022

A historic milestone

We kicked off 2022 by announcing that the Campaign for Carolinathe University’s campus-wide fundraising drive, eclipsed the $4.25 billion milestone. The generosity of individuals and private foundations made this momentous accomplishment possible.

The University is already putting that money to work in programs, buildings, scholarships and other efforts on campus and beyond. While the true impact of the Campaign for Carolina will be measured over decades, many campaign commitments are already at work supporting Carolina’s key strategic priorities.

Students holding a sign that says thank you.

A season to remember

A No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Tar Heels advanced to the program's record-setting 21st Final Four, where Carolina faced Duke for the first time in tournament history. With an 81-77 win over Duke, Carolina advanced to the national championship. Though the action was in New Orleans, thousands of fans in Chapel Hill cheered on the Tar Heels from the Dean Smith Center and Franklin Street.

Relive the celebrations
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The return of a spring tradition

April 8 marked a return to the on-campus celebration of Arts Everywhere Day, which featured performances, installations and activities across campus. This year’s theme was “Grounded Growth,” which represented how artists and the Carolina community has grown during the pandemic and the role of the arts through these times.

Arts Everywhere is making the arts a fundamental part of Carolina’s culture and daily campus life. Celebrating the arts supports students’ pursuit of meaningful lives by helping them imagine new possibilities and foster a creative mindset to solve the world’s most complex problems.

A person talks to a person dressed in a fox costume.

The Class of 2022

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill celebrated the graduation of nearly 6,200 Tar Heels at Doctoral Hooding and Spring Commencement in early May. Thousands of friends and family members joined the University to applaud the achievements and success of the Class of 2022.

Meet the graduates
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Top spring stories