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Turning the page

Winter Graduation

After years of hard work, nearly 1,500 Carolina students began a new chapter of their lives Sunday afternoon as their degrees were conferred at Winter Commencement.

Our December graduates excelled in the classroom, conducted research, dominated their sports and served the state. Now, they’ll become leaders in their chosen fields and communities.

As of Nov. 15, 2022

  • 1,420total graduates
  • 629undergraduates
  • 791graduate and professional students
  • 154first-generation students
  • 957North Carolina residents
  • 87Covenant Scholars

Meet the graduates

  • Alice Bennett by the Old Well.

    A slight change of plans

    Friends, professors and fascinating coursework helped guide senior Alice Bennett to the most meaningful aspects of her Carolina experience — and a degree in American studies.

  • Tajahn Wilson

    Resilience and success

    When Tajahn Wilson arrived in Chapel Hill in 2018 as a first-year biology student, he thought he had the next four years all figured out: He’d spend his undergraduate years preparing for medical school and then become a doctor. His actual path to graduation, however, has been anything but the straight line he expected.

  • Liyah Clark

    Stepping outside her comfort zone leads graduating Tar Heel to Ph.D.

    Among the first students from the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program to graduate with a doctoral degree, Jeliyah “Liyah” Clark will become a double Tar Heel at Winter Commencement on Sunday.

  • Tyler Vaughan

    Serving his country and Carolina

    When senior Tyler Vaughan graduates this December, he will do so as a newly commissioned Marine second lieutenant and a new dad.

  • Paschall stands in a hospital room in the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center. Paschall, a senior who will graduate in December, has worked as a certified nursing assistant at the Center since 2021. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill) 

    Preparing for the next step

    Graduating senior Meghan Paschall has spent her time at Carolina studying science and working as a CNA in UNC Hospitals to prepare herself for a future career in medicine.

  • Angela Nguyen on the field in Kenan Stadium.

    Dream job, dream degree

    Carolina has helped Angela Nguyen realize her career and academic goals. At age 45, this first-generation college student will walk across the Winter Commencement stage, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies.

Rewatch the celebration

Winter Commencement was held at the Dean E. Smith Center on Dec. 11 and celebrated students who graduated in August and December.

The ceremony can be rewatched at commencement.unc.edu.

Detail featuring a Class of 2022 tassel at Student Stores on April 12, 2022, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Novelist, essayist and illustrator Daniel Wallace delivered the commencement address. Wallace is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his alma mater, where he was director of the Creative Writing Program for 11 years. He is best known for his novel “Big Fish,” which was adapted as a movie and a Broadway musical.

An overwiew of the 2021 winter commencement in the Dean E. Smith Center