Thousands of family and friends gathered at Fall Commencement to celebrate the University’s newest graduates. But worldwide, thousands more tuned in to one of the three ceremonies to join the festivities.
India, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom were the top three live stream viewing countries outside the United States. While many traveled to Charlotte, people nationwide watched, too, with North and South Carolina recording the most views. Other top states with an online audience were Florida, New York and Texas. To date, viewership for a live or rebroadcast version of Commencement was roughly 40,000 (including Facebook); more than 75 percent of viewers used a mobile device to watch.
During the three Fall Commencement exercises Dec. 14-15, approximately 2,435 bachelor’s degrees, 885 master’s degrees and 118 doctorates were awarded.
On Thursday, Dec. 13, 68 doctoral candidates participated in a special hooding ceremony organized by the Graduate School. Sharon Doerer, chief of staff, Human Resources, TIAA, and Alyssa Vela were guest speakers. Doerer, a UNC Charlotte alumna, earned a Ph.D. in organizational sciences in 2013; Vela, a graduating student, completed a Ph.D. in health psychology this fall.
The UNC Charlotte Alumni Association also held special Commencement events Dec. 13.
Twenty-five students participated in a Legacy Draping Ceremony in the Popp Martin Student Union; legacy students are those with at least one parent, stepparent or grandparent who graduated from UNC Charlotte. Each student received a legacy stole to wear at Commencement.
The Donning of the Kente Ceremony, sponsored by the Black Alumni Chapter, celebrated graduating students by recognizing their African roots. Tiffani Teachey ’03, ’05, a senior chemical process engineer for Westinghouse Electric Company, was the featured speaker at the event held in the Cone University Center. Fifty-two students participated and received handmade Kente clothes that represented their African heritage and achievements.
Another Commencement tradition is the Ring Ceremony; 50 students were presented their class rings at the Popp Martin Student Union. Afterward, they were encouraged to dip their rings into Norm’s miner pan to strengthen their ties to UNC Charlotte and its founding as a pioneering institution of opportunity.