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UNC Chancellor Carol L. Folt will preside over her first spring Commencement this weekend, and in anticipation she already has attended several graduation celebrations leading up to the big event on Sunday.

The pre-Commencement celebrations have given Folt, UNC’s first female Chancellor, more opportunities to meet outstanding graduates and learn more about their Carolina experiences.

The main University ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday in Kenan Stadium. No tickets are required and the public is invited. Various schools and departments also host individual graduation ceremonies before the big day.

Some of the events Folt has attended include:

  • The Lavender Graduation, which honors sexuality studies minors, graduating LGBTIQ-identified students and their allies. Nineteen students were honored at the graduation ceremony, hosted by the LGBTQ Center, in the Upendo lounge in SASB North on May 4. Two students, Kevin Claybren and Rebekah Scherr, received advocacy awards and all students received a rainbow tassel, a lavender rose and a copy of “Goodnight Carolina.”
  • The American Indian Center Commencement and Reception at the Hill Alumni Center on Thursday. About 15 American Indian graduates or students graduating with a degree in American Indian and Indigenous studies participated in the program. Each student received a certificate and a hand-crafted, sculpted turtle by Senora Lynch, who also designed The Gift, the brick design in the Carolina Union Plaza.  “All I think of this time of year is promise and hope. You are the promise and hope for the future,” Folt told the graduates and guests who attended the event.
  • The inaugural Red, White and Carolina Blue Graduation Ceremony, which honored graduating students who are veterans, serving in the military or ROTC students commissioning upon graduation. About 30 graduates were recognized during the event on Friday and each was given a red, white and blue honor cord. On behalf of the Carolina community, Folt thanked the graduates for their military service and led the crowd in a “Go Heels” cheer.
  • The Carolina Latina/o Collaborative recognition reception, which honored graduates who have worked to support and promote the Latino communities on campus. About 15 students were honored at ceremony on Friday at the FedEx Global Education Building. The ceremony is meant to acknowledge the successes of Latino students and those who have supported the Latino community and to thank those who have supported the students.

Published May 9, 2014.