Year in Review 2022-23

The 2022-23 academic year at Carolina was a memorable one.

Tar Heels won national championships. The Campaign for Carolina wrapped up, raising more than $5 billion. A senior competed in the Ironman World Championships. Faculty members met North Carolinians across our state to tackle challenges impacting communities. And nearly 8,000 Tar Heels became Carolina alumni, while another 8,000 students began their college experience in Chapel Hill.

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

Fall semester

Welcoming our newest Tar Heels

For nearly 8,000 new students, August marked the beginning of an exciting new journey in Chapel Hill. From public servants, devoted family members and teachers to taekwondo world champions, veterans, and pilots, each of the newest Tar Heels bring their unique experiences, talents and passions to Chapel Hill to strengthen our community.

    Press the play button to see Carolina's Week of Welcome

Carolina Community Academy opens

University and community leaders officially opened the Carolina Community Academy with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 25 at North Elementary School in Roxboro, North Carolina. The innovative K-2 school is a partnership between Carolina and the Person County School District.

The academy functions as a classroom setting similar to many others found throughout the state while also integrating evidence-based classroom practices and innovative approaches, improved and integrated curriculum, social-emotional learning and robust wraparound services to best support the students.

Honoring the “Divine Nine”

Officially opened in October, Carolina’s National Pan-Hellenic Council Legacy Plaza celebrates the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities at Carolina on the 48th anniversary of their founding. The organizations’ commitment to civic engagement, leadership, academics and work to create a sense of belonging has positively impacted campus since 1973.

Located on South Campus between SASB North and South, the plaza consists of nine columns representing each of the founding Black Greek organizations. The pillars are arranged in chronological order of when the organizations were chartered. An inner circle of pavers and an outer circle of bricks feature the names of donors who made the plaza possible.

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 22nd consecutive year and named UNC-Chapel Hill the best value among public universities for the 18th time. Later in the year, numerous graduate programs received high rankings, including 21 among the top 10 in the nation in their respective categories, as part of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” list.

A water tower with a UNC logo on it.

The Tar Heel Bus Tour hits the road

The Tar Heel Bus Tour hit the road for three days in October to strengthen the connections between the University and our state.

With nearly 80 Carolina faculty members and senior administrators on two buses, the tour made 27 stops in 20 different North Carolina counties for participants to learn more about the pressing issues facing communities and to find new ways for Tar Heels in Chapel Hill to make a real-world difference for North Carolinians.

The east bus traveled to the coast, visiting people and sites in a dozen cities, towns and communities, including Hollister, Princeville, Kitty Hawk and Scotland Neck. Another bus went west to the mountains with stops in communities including Greensboro, Elkin, Grandfather Mountain and Kannapolis.

    Press the play button to see the tour through North Carolina
  • People walking on an airfield.

    As a university built for the people, public service is at the core of Carolina’s mission. Tar Heels are serving North Carolinians from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Crystal Coast.

    Learn how Tar Heels are Serving North Carolina

Top Fall Stories

  • Carolina dedicates James L. Cates Jr. Memorial

    Members of the campus and local community joined University leaders in the Pit on Nov. 21 to dedicate a memorial to James Lewis Cates Jr. The memorial, located near where Cates was stabbed in the Pit 52 years ago, is the result of decades of advocacy from Carolina students and community members.

  • Tar Heel competes in World Ironman Championships

    Carolina senior Andrew Buchanan signed up for his first Ironman competition last summer, looking to test himself in the 140-mile race. A surprise top finish in his age group provided him with his next challenge: competing in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

  • The Old Well with the sun shining behind it.

    Carolina’s newest deans

    Since August 2021, Carolina has welcomed eight new dean, with many beginning their positions this year. These scholars and leaders, all standouts in their fields, bring a world of knowledge and experience to their new roles.

  • People standing outside the Carolina Coffee Shop.

    A Chapel Hill staple celebrates 100 years

    The Carolina Coffee Shop, the oldest restaurant in North Carolina, has been serving Tar Heels and residents since 1922. After 100 years of continuous service, the shop is looking toward the future with UNC-Chapel Hill alumni at the helm.

Spring semester

A historic moment for Carolina

Thanks to the astounding generosity of the University’s donors, the Campaign for Carolina raised more than $5 billion, exceeding its $4.25 billion goal and becoming the first university in the South — and one of only 16 universities in the U.S. — to exceed $5 billion in a completed campaign.

Many gifts are already at work supporting Carolina’s key strategic priorities, while some donors have made pledges or established endowments that will provide a steady stream of resources in the decades to come.

Bell Tower at Sunset

LGBTQ Center celebrates 20 years of education for equality

Since its founding in 2003, the UNC LGBTQ Center has fostered an inclusive environment for Tar Heels of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions to create a stronger and more welcoming campus for students.

The center celebrated its 20th anniversary in April during Pride Week by honorings its history and the generations of Tar Heels who worked to bring the center to reality.

Athletic legacies

After winning her 10th national title as Carolina’s field hockey coach in November, Karen Shelton retired in December after 42 seasons. To fill her role, the team turned to one of its own to take the reins: Erin Matson, who was on four NCAA Championship teams and five ACC Championship teams.

The Tar Heels on the field hockey team weren’t the only student-athletes to cement themselves in Carolina’s history books. In March, sophomore Aranza Vazquez earned two national titles in diving, becoming the first Tar Heel diver ever to win a national championship. That same weekend, Austin O’Connor claimed the 157-pound national championship at the wrestling championships,  becoming the second wrestler in program history to win multiple national championships.

In May, Carolina’s women’s tennis team, which has won the last four ITA Indoor Team National Championships, captured its first outdoor NCAA title.

Carolina's 'Jordan Year' graduates

Carolina celebrated the graduation of nearly 6,500 Tar Heels at Doctoral Hooding and Spring Commencement in May. Thousands of friends and family members joined the University to applaud the achievements and success of our graduates.

    Press the play button to relive Carolina's Spring Commencement celebrations

Top Spring Stories