Commencement

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

Proud grads in cap and gowns walk across the stage this weekend at commencement ceremonies around the state.

Wake Forest University

Stephen Colbert was at Wake Forest University this morning to give graduates a send-off with one of his trademark commencement speeches.

 

The comedian will soon make the switch from his own satirical political program to taking over David Letterman’s late-night talk show, but he first took some time to tell a new generation that the future looks, well… like a “dark chasm of yawning uncertainty.”

An image of students tossing their graduation caps
Ian Norman / Flickr

 

Famous speakers will address thousands of college students across the state for commencement ceremonies in the coming weeks. As people in the crowd turn their tassels, these speakers will step on stage and try to deliver inspiring stories and advice to charge a new generation of college graduates.

 

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

Graduation ceremonies kick off this weekend for colleges and universities across North Carolina. But before hundreds of students walk across the stage to get their diploma, they will be charged by a commencement speaker. 

Speakers will share stories and words of wisdom as the graduates begin their next chapter. This year's roster ranges from a late-night talk show host to a U.S. Congressman. Here are the people students and attendees should look forward to hearing this graduation season.

UNC graduates
unc.edu

Many colleges and universities across North Carolina have added thousands of alumni.  Students from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University were among those to turn their tassels Sunday. 

Harvard surgeon and best-selling author Atul Gawande spoke at UNC's commencement. The theme of Gawande's speech was how to find the right place to live and work after graduation.

"One thing I came to realize after college was that the search for purpose is really a search for a place, not an idea," says Gawande. 

graduation
Duke University

Several universities are holding their commencement exercises this weekend. Here's a look at what's in store.

The Speakers

UNC Chapel Hill: Dr. Atul Gawande.

Dr. Gawande has become a household name for fans of science and medical journalism. He's a leader in the field of how to make health care more efficient and more effective on an institutional level. He also gave a TED talk, which makes him pretty hip.

Erin/Interrobang / Flickr/Creative Commons

There are a lot of interesting people coming to the Triangle this weekend and in the coming weeks to wish our graduates well.

Giving a graduation speech is an art. Will any of the speakers match the power of Steve Jobs' 2005 address to the Stanford graduates?

"Your time is limited," he told them. "So don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

Wake Forest graduates at commencement.
Wake Forest University

About 1,000 undergraduates and 600 graduate students received degrees at Wake Forest University's commencement exercises today.  The school's Class of 2013 includes 11 recipients of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.  Those students will be taking on post-graduate work ranging from researching regenerative medicine in Sweden to teaching Vietnamese children. 

PBS journalist Gwen Ifill  delivered the commencement address and urged the graduates to keep several promises.

graduation
Duke University

If you live anywhere near a college campus and don’t have a compelling reason to attend the half-dozen or so graduations going on in the Triangle and Triad, this might be a good weekend to get out of town. Tens of thousands of family and friends are set to descend on Durham, Raleigh, and Greensboro for commencement events throughout the weekend.

Another wave of students is set to graduate from area colleges and universities this weekend. Commencement ceremonies will be held at North Carolina Central, Duke, and NC State. 

Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis will give the commencement address at NC Central on Saturday. Across town and a day later, Duke will hold its graduation. Cisco CEO John Chambers will speak to the Duke graduates.

Commencement season begins in earnest this weekend, as several area colleges and universities hold graduation. 

UNC - Chapel Hill graduation takes center stage on Sunday morning, as the main university ceremony takes place in Kenan Stadium. Pulitzer Prize-winning entomologist E.O. Wilson will be the commencement speaker.