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A weekend
like no other

Celebrating the Class of 2021

Graduating Tar Heels experienced a Spring Commencement like no other this weekend as we celebrated our nearly 6,300 newest Carolina alumni throughout five ceremonies.

Thousands of friends and family members joined the University, virtually and in Kenan Stadium, to applaud the achievements and success of the Class of 2021.

Drs. Anthony Fauci and Kizzmekia Corbett '14 (Ph.D.), two of the nation's leading experts on COVID-19 pandemic research and national response strategies, also virtually joined the ceremonies to congratulate the students and share advice as they enter a new chapter in their lives.

  • 6,283graduating Tar Heels
  • 4,068undergraduates
  • 1,588graduate students
  • 627professional students
  • 836first-generation students
  • 423Carolina Covenant Scholars

You, the Class of 2021, have accomplished something really hard. Along with your faculty, your families and your friends, we are lucky to have been on this journey with you. We celebrate what you’ve accomplished and we’re excited for your future.

Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz claps from a podium.

My hope is that as we depart from home — whether you consider that to be Chapel Hill, your hometown, or simply the people with whom you feel most safe — we always remember and cherish it. Take a moment to recognize those who have made home special.

Chris Suggs, president of the senior class

Chris Suggs stands near a podium at commencement.

The beautiful thing about this moment, as you leave this place, a place that has shaped you for the past four years, is that you now have the privilege to decide where you go from here. Remember that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are going exactly where you are destined to go.

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett ’14 (Ph.D.), Commencement speaker

Kizzmekia Corbett in a gap and gown.

How you have responded to this pandemic thus far gives me confidence that you will adjust and you will thrive. You are going to play an important role in shaping this new normal. Perhaps it can even be a better normal.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Commencement speaker

A portrait of Anthony Fauci.

Weekend rewind

  • Graduates throw their caps in the air.

    ‘You are going exactly where you are destined to go’

    In their virtual Commencement addresses, Drs. Anthony Fauci and Kizzmekia Corbett shared advice with the new graduates, urging them to find joy in their lives, serve others and always remember the power of home.

  • Three graduates walk down the steps of the Bell Tower

    Meet the Class of 2021

    Despite many obstacles — particularly over the past 16 months — members of the Class of 2021 excelled in their academics, conducted research, published papers, launched initiatives, won national championships and gave back to our state.

    Get to know their paths to graduation.

  • A graduate takes a photo with a family member.

    Graduates receive a special message from their families

    As their graduates officially become Carolina alumni, proud parents and family members of the Class of 2021 congratulated their Tar Heels and offered words of encouragement for their next chapter.

  • Kizzmekia Corbett puts a gradution cap on.

    A full-circle moment

    This weekend’s Commencement celebrations were a full-circle moment for Kizzmekia Corbett ’14 (Ph.D.) as she virtually returned home to the place her science career began and delivered the Commencement address that sent a new generation of Tar Heels out into the world.

Click on a photo below to watch a replay of a Commencement ceremony