Spring Commencement 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 3:30pm

Carmichael Arena

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 11, 2019.

"Jacqueline Charles Comes Home"

Returning the Favor from Here At UNC on Vimeo.


2019 Spring Commencement keynote by alumna Jacqueline Charles ’94


2019 Spring Commencement ceremony

Event photography

About Jacqueline Charles

Jacqueline Charles ’94Jacqueline Charles ’94 is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Emmy Award-winning Caribbean Correspondent at The Miami Herald, a McClatchy-owned paper which circulates in greater Miami and is read throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Journalism today is changing,” Charles noted recently. “Today I am not just a reporter, but I am a multimedia journalist. I write, report, take photos and make videos. Ours is a business that is changing but surviving, despite constantly being under attack. I intend to not only change with the times, but to continue to do what I do, which is to report on the facts, the people and the culture of the Caribbean, and Haiti in particular.”

Charles has reported full time on the Caribbean for the Herald since 2006.

Charles was born in the English-speaking Turks and Caicos to a Haitian mother and raised by her mother and her Cuban-American stepfather, spending part of her childhood in Miami's Overtown neighborhood. She began her journalism career with the Herald as a 14-year-old intern, and returned to the paper as a full-time journalist after graduating from Carolina in 1994 with her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. She covers Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean.

In 2008, she was singled out as the International Reporter of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) for her reporting on four back-to-back storms and hurricanes that hit Haiti within 30 days followed by a school collapse and a children malnutrition crisis. Three years later, the NABJ named her Journalist of the Year, describing her as a local reporter who is having an international impact for her coverage of Haiti in the aftermath of its devastating 2010 earthquake, for which she was also recognized as a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Her reporting assignments have taken her throughout the Caribbean — including Cuba — as well as Liberia, Italy, Kenya, and most recently Mexico, Canada and Chile to report on the plight of Haitian migrants. Charles's 2016 project on the dangerous 7,000-mile trek through 11 Latin American countries many Haitians embarked on from Brazil to reach the United States via the U.S.-Mexico border was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and the French-American Foundation. She recently received the prestigious Columbia Journalism School’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize, the oldest award in international journalism, for her Caribbean coverage — of Haiti in particular — and for fostering a greater understanding of this part of the globe.

Comfortable in front of the camera and nimble enough to work behind it, she has been featured on National Public Radio; the British Broadcasting Corporation; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; MSNBC; Al Jazeera; and the South Florida Sunday morning public affairs shows — "This Week in South Florida" with Michael Putney and "Facing South Florida” with Jim Defede on CBS4, among others.

No stranger to Chapel Hill since her 1994 graduation, Charles received a Distinguished Alumna Award from UNC in 2015 for her journalistic achievements. She also currently serves on the Hussman School’s Board of Advisers. Charles remembers the impact visiting journalists had on her as a student at the school, and how she’d dream of a future journalism career and the opportunity to be invited back to share what she’d learned with students on campus.



  • Susan King
  • Sean Kurz '19
    Senior Class President
  • Jacqueline Charles ’94
    Caribbean Correspondent
    The Miami Herald
  • Susan King
  • Charlie Tuggle
    Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
  • Heidi Hennink-Kaminski
    Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies


Graduates recess out of Carmichael. Family, friends and guests, please exit promptly through the side doors in the front lobby to meet your graduates outside.


Lois Boynton, Joe Cabosky and Tori Ekstrand


Information for graduates

Graduates should arrive at WOOLLEN GYMNASIUM at 300 South Road (adjacent to Carmichael Arena) no later than 2:35 p.m. Enter Woollen from South Road and go downstairs from the lobby to the basketball courts to check in and line up alphabetically. Hussman School faculty and staff will be present to direct you accordingly.

We have about 400 graduates, so it is important that you arrive at WOOLLEN GYMNASIUM on time and move to your alphabetical spot as soon as possible after checking in.

At 3:30 p.m., the processional will begin. Graduates will walk indoors from Woollen into Carmichael and down through the seating area to the floor. Faculty marshals will guide the processional and direct you to your seats. They will 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. 

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 Carmichael Arena — as the crowd for the ceremony immediately following our ceremony will be entering. Lingering in the lobby of Carmichael causes significant congestion and can be a hazard for guests with disabilities.

Information for family and friends attending

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


Wheelchair and disability entrance:
Guests in wheelchairs and those with limited mobility should arrive at Carmichael early and enter through the doors on the right side of the entrance in order to avoid the crowds of people leaving the earlier ceremony and entering for our ceremony. There will be signage marking the Wheelchair and Disability Entrance.  Hussman School staff will be present to direct you into the arena.


General seating:
Please visit the Tickets section of GoHeels.com for an interactive seating chart map of Carmichael Arena.


Disability seating:
Carmichael Arena has accessible seating along the walkway between the lower and upper seating areas of the arena. Hussman School staff will be present to direct guests to disability seating. We ask that companions defer to guests in wheelchairs for space in the disability seating areas until the start of the ceremony. Space permitting, only one companion may join in that area. Seating for additional family members and friends will be reserved on the seating rows immediately below the accessible seating areas.


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 11, so please plan to arrive early to allow for any difficulties or delays in finding parking. Other options include the Boshamer Lot off Ridge Road and the T Lot off Country Club at the Outdoor Recreation facility.  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:
There is another ceremony immediately before ours. Families and friends attending the Hussman School ceremony will wait outside of Carmichael Arena until the doors are opened prior to our ceremony. When the other 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. Please use the center doors of Carmichael to enter.


Duration of ceremony:
The ceremony generally lasts about 1 hour and 45 minutes, give or take 15 minutes. Concession stands will not be open in Carmichael Arena, so water bottles are highly recommended for both guests and graduates.


Post-ceremony and exiting the arena:
Graduates will process out of the arena at the conclusion of the ceremony. Please exit Carmichael promptly following our ceremony through the SIDE DOORS of the lobby to meet your graduate outside of the arena. Guests attending the ceremony following ours will be entering through the center doors at the same time.

For more information

For more information, please contact Communications Director Kyle York at (919) 966-3323 or sky@unc.edu.