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Beginning a
new chapter

Winter Commencement

After years of hard work, late nights and a lot of determination, more than 1,300 Carolina students will began a new chapter of their lives Dec. 12 as their degrees were conferred at the University’s annual Winter Commencement.

Our graduates have excelled in the classroom, conducted research, founded organizations, served the state of North Carolina and left their heelprint on Carolina. Now they’ll become leaders in their fields and their communities. They are ready to take on the most significant issues in the state, country and world.

*Numbers as of Nov. 30, 2021

  • 644undergraduates
  • 672graduate students
  • 5professional students
  • 423first-generation college students

Meet the graduates

  • Ruben in a cap and gown by the Bell Tower.

    Ruben Rakonczai

    Ruben Rakonczai immigrated to the United States from his hometown of Göd, Hungary, with his parents, a suitcase and one purpose: to create a better future for his family.

    He'll take a significant step forward in his goal for him and his parents this weekend when he graduates from Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in conflict management.

  • Saskia Staimpel

    Saskia Staimpel

    As a Tar Heel, Saskia Staimpel has expanded her interests in Black student activism through undergraduate research and a fellowship at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

    After graduation, Staimpel plans to take a break before applying to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in history and teach at the college level.

  • Nick Perlin

    Nick Perlin still has his Carolina acceptance letter hanging on his bedroom wall at his home in Maryland. Two years later, the paper reminds him that the journey to Chapel Hill wasn’t an easy one.

    The senior studying broadcast journalism at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media will finish his Carolina journey this weekend and fulfill one of his childhood dreams as he graduates from UNC-Chapel Hill.

  • Taylor Williams at the Old Well.

    Taylor Williams

    Taylor Williams came to Carolina eager to study nursing to pursue a career that allowed her to help others.

    But she learned you don't need to be in medicine to give back. Instead of learning to provide health care, she’s spent her time in Chapel Hill studying human development and family studies at the UNC School of Education to gain the tools she needs to support students from her hometown of Warrenton, North Carolina.

  • Max Spiegel poses for a photo outside.

    Maximilian Spiegel

    A Royster Fellow in The Graduate School, Maximilian Spiegel will graduate Sunday with a Ph.D. in communications and plans to pursue a career in academia based on his interdisciplinary study of popular music.

    He spent seven semesters as a graduate instructor teaching an undergraduate course in popular music — an entry point to foster critical thinking and tools for understanding the world.

  • Hannah King with Rameses

    Hannah King

    Graduating senior Hannah King grew up on a sheep farm in rural North Carolina, and when she got to Chapel Hill, she realized there was a high-profile role that she was perfectly qualified for: caring for Rameses XXII.

    King plans to put her chemistry degree to work when she enrolls in veterinary school in the fall, but first, she's building up some more real-world agriculture expertise. After graduating, she'll start a new role at a large sheep farm in Wyoming, just in time for lambing season.

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