Spring Commencement 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 3:30pm

Carmichael Arena

Event photography

About the event

The UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media will hold its Spring Commencement ceremony in Carmichael Arena at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist for the New York Times Magazine, will deliver the commencement address. 

No tickets are required, and there is no limit for attendees. Graduates are welcome to invite as many family members and friends as they wish. The ceremony typically lasts 1.5 to 2 hours.

The University-wide commencement ceremony will be held in Kenan Stadium at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 14, 2016. More information on the University ceremony is available at commencement.unc.edu.


Commencement will be streamed via Facebook Live and uploaded to the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media YouTube account following the ceremony.




Susan King, Dean

Commencement Address

Nikole Hannah-Jones, Award-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times Magazine 

Recognition of graduates

Academic Dean | Anne Johnston

Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies | Charlie Tuggle

Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies | Heidi Hennink-Kaminski

Faculty marshals | Lois Boynton and Joe Cabosky


Information for graduates

Graduates should arrive at Carmichael no later than 2:35 p.m.

Upon arriving, enter Carmichael Arena and go left on the concourse to find the check-in table. You will fill out a slip with your name (spelled phonetically) that you will later hand to the faculty member reading names at the podium on stage when your name is called to walk across the stage.

After checking in, you will line up alphabetically in the concourse area. We have about 400 graduates, so the line-up will snake through the concourse and down to the tunnel area under Carmichael. It is important that you move to your alphabetical spot as soon as possible after checking in.

You can expect it to be hot and stuffy while lining up. It’s a good idea to bring a bottle of water and a snack.

At 3:30 p.m., the processional will begin in which graduates will walk through the Carmichael seating area down to the floor. Faculty marshals will direct you to your seats and also prompt you when to move toward the stage for your name to be called. You will walk to center stage where you will be greeted by Dean Susan King and pose for a photo. Then you’ll cross the stage and have another photo shot just off stage. The photographers will contact you at a later date offering those photos for sale.

You will return to your seat for the remainder of the ceremony after walking across stage. At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates will process out of the arena under the direction of the faculty marshals.

Please instruct your guests to meet you outside of the arena — as the crowd for the ceremony immediately following our ceremony will be entering the arena. Remaining in the lobby of Carmichael causes significant crowd flow issues.

Information for family and friends attending

Disability Parking:
Guests or students with a disability permit or plate are welcome to park in South Road metered parking spots. Additional spots will be made available for the disabled in the School of Government Deck, off of South Road.

Disability Seating:
Carmichael Arena has accessible seating along the concourse. We ask that only one companion sit in that area. Seating for additional family members and friends will be reserved on the seating rows immediately below the accessible seating areas. Click here to view the seating chart

Other Accommodations:
If you require other accommodations, please contact Kyle York at (919) 966-3323 or sky@unc.edu.

General Parking:
Cobb Deck will be available for general parking and is first-come, first-served. Cobb Deck is located off Raleigh Street. Many schools and departments are holding commencement ceremonies on May 13, so please plan to arrive early if possible to allow for any difficulties or delays in finding parking. Other options include the Bell Tower Deck off South Road. Public parking decks are also located off campus on Rosemary Street. It is about a 15-minute walk to Carmichael from the Rosemary Street decks.

Pre-Ceremony and Crowd Control:
Families and friends who are attending the ceremony will wait outside of the arena until the doors are opened prior to the ceremony. This is because there will be another school’s ceremony immediately prior to our ceremony. When that ceremony is over, those attendees will be exiting Carmichael as our attendees are entering. This can cause traffic flow issues, so families and friends should be prepared to contend with large crowds converging.

Duration of Ceremony:
The ceremony generally lasts about 1 hour and 45 minutes, give or take 15 minutes.

Post-Ceremony and Exiting the Arena:
Graduates will process out of the arena at the conclusion of the ceremony. Please plan to meet up with your graduate outside of the arena following the ceremony.

About Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones, a UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media 2003 Park Fellow master's graduate and current New York Times Magazine investigative reporter, will deliver the commencement address for the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media on May 13, 2017.

Hannah-Jones won a 2016 Peabody Award for her collection of "This American Life" episodes on school segregation called "The Case for School Desegregation Today."  The collection includes "Three Miles" and a two-part series called "The Problem We All Live With."

Hannah-Jones has worked as an investigative reporter for The New York Times since 2015, and covers civil rights and racial injustice. Prior to The New York Times, she worked with ProPublica from 2011 to 2015, chronicling the way official policy created and maintained segregation in schools and housing.

"Three Miles" describes what happened when a group of public school students in the Bronx went to visit an elite private school just three miles away, and how it affected those students years after the experience. In "The Problem We All Live With," Hannah-Jones asserts the importance of school integration as the key to the achievement gap in education. The series' title is based off of Norman Rockwell's painting of Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.

In addition to her Peabody Award, Hannah-Jones also received a 2016 George Polk Award for her work on the episodes in 2015. The George Foster Peabody Awards were founded in 1940 and recognize excellence in electronic media. The University of Georgia Grady Hussman School of Journalism and Media sponsors the awards each year.

For more information

If you require other accommodations, please contact Communications Director Kyle York at (919) 966-3323 or sky@unc.edu.