Notable Commencement Speakers Through the Years
Our Spring Commencement Ceremony (5/10) is just around the corner! Commencement is a hugely exciting time: students become graduates, alumni come back to campus to cheer on the next generation of Bears, and lots of advice and words of inspiration are exchanged all around.
With so much hustle and bustle, UNC’s Commencement website can be an invaluable resource. Not only does it provide you with a handy weather forecast and access to a live webcast of the ceremony, you can find photo galleries and video clips from previous years to help you reminisce or give you a taste for what’s in store. There are also detailed profiles on this year’s speakers, both of whom are UNC alums.
Here at the Bear Den, we’d like to expand this archive even further. We invite you, dear reader, to share any and all graduation-related materials with us: video clips, pictures, and even memories of how a speaker’s words affected you. How do you display your degree? Where was your commencement ceremony held? We want to know!
You can send you pictures and videos to us via private message on Facebook or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, if you have thoughts or recollections to share, tell us about them in our comments section.
(from top to bottom, left to right)
Ken Salazar (Fall 2003) - Former United States senator and 50th Secretary of the Interior.
Lt. General Carol Mutter (Spring 1995) - UNC alumna and the first woman in the history of the US Armed Forces to be appointed to a three-star grade.
Connie Willis (Fall, 2000) - UNC alumna and award-winning Science Fiction author.
Dr. Howard Skinner (Spring, 2005) - President Emeritus of UNC and namesake of the Skinner Music Library.
Carlotta Walls LaNier (Spring, 2006) - UNC alumna, businesswoman, and youngest member of the Little Rock Nine
Prince Bandar bin Sultan (Spring, 2001) - Former Saudi ambassador to the United States
Greg Germann (Fall, 2010) - UNC alumnus and actor, perhaps most well-known for playing the role of Richard Fish on Ally McBeal.
Dave Stalls (Spring, 2011) - UNC alumnus, former NFL player, and current CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters Colorado.
Bonus: If you’re ever in the mood for some great, motivational rhetoric to boost your spirits or if you’d just like to “borrow” some witty sayings for your next public speaking occasion, here are some links to previous commencement addresses: Robert C. Dickeson, Evan Henderson, Dwight Jones, Teresa Argotsinger, Sara Baum, and Stephanie R. South.