CHAPEL HILL-On Sunday morning, the members of UNC’s senior class will enter the next chapter of their lives at the university’s spring commencement ceremony—and the university will also prepare to enter its next chapter with a new chancellor.
This will mark the fifth and final spring commencement ceremony for outgoing chancellor Holden Thorp, whose time at the helm has been plagued by various scandals and controversies. Dr. Carol Folt, who currently serves as interim president of Dartmouth College, will officially assume the chancellorship on July 1.
AOL co-founder Steve Case will serve as the ceremony’s speaker. In addition to his extensive background in technology, he and his wife also chair the Case Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting innovation through entrepreneurship. The foundation has several similarities to an initiative entitled “Innovate At Carolina,” which Thorp created as a way to use UNC as a launching pad to entrepreneurship in science, medicine, business, and other fields.
While most graduating college seniors are in their early 20s, one Bachelor of Arts recipient is significantly older—87-year-old grandmother of four and great-grandmother of one Helen Joan Miller Hunter, otherwise known as “Grandma Jo.” She came three credits short of her Carolina degree in 1947, but never quite finished due to an illness.
Hunter says several aspects of her life—and the world around her—have changed since she first attended UNC.
“There’s been war, peace, I’ve had marriages, divorces, and I’ve had four children,” she says. “There’s been all kinds of things.”
UNC’s commencement ceremony will begin at 9:30 on Sunday morning in Kenan Stadium, and 30,000 people are expected to attend. Stay tuned to WCHL and chapelboro.com for full coverage of Sunday’s graduation festivities.