May 2016 Commencement



UNC Asheville May Commencement

Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m.
UNC Asheville Quadrangle

Reception to follow

Please join us as we celebrate the graduates, and share your experience on social media.  Tag your posts and photos with #uncavl2016 and follow the event online at and

Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients

Virgil Smith will serve as commencement speaker and will receive an honorary degree. Mr. Smith is a trustee emeritus and was the Asheville Citizen-Times publisher from 1996-2006 before being promoted to vice president of talent management and diversity at Gannett Company, Inc. He retired from the Gannett Company in 2015. Early in his life, Mr. Smith was a professional baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers organization. He also serves on the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation board. He is the proud parent of a UNC Asheville alum. He continues to be an active member of the UNC Asheville community.

Julia Ray also will receive an honorary degree. She was the first African-American on the Board of Trustees of Mission Hospital, and she served as trustee for both UNC Asheville and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She also served on the Friends of the YMI and helped to establish the Goombay Festival. Among other honors, Mrs. Ray is the recipient of the Mission/MAHEC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award for her pioneering service to the Asheville medical community.

Also receiving an hononrary degree will be John Cram, who is credited for being one of the pioneers in revitalizing downtown Asheville. He had a vision of Asheville as it now is: vibrant, hospitable to artists, celebrating beauty in all things natural and handmade. He opened the Blue Spiral 1 in 1990 and later revitalized the Fine Arts Theater. He serves on the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center Board of Directors. He has spent over 40 years investing and believing in Asheville.

Information for Graduates

The Registrar’s Office provides important dates and deadlines for graduationIf you are a prospective graduate and have not been receiving e-mails concerning graduation, please notify Alicia Shope at Reminders of the dates and deadlines will be sent through e-mail.    

UNC Asheville’s May 2016 Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 7, at 9 a.m., on the University Quadrangle. Graduates need to line up at 8 a.m. at the Bulldog statue in front of Justice Gym and the Student Recreation Center. 

The Highsmith Union information desk will serve as Lost and Found.  

May 6 Rehearsal Breakfast

A rehearsal breakfast for the graduates will be held on Friday, May 6, at 8:30 a.m. in the Student Recreation Center. Following breakfast, the commencement rehearsal will begin at 10 a.m. and graduates are required to attend. Due to limited space, family and friends are not able to attend the breakfast. 

Information for Friends and Families

We welcome families and friends to campus to celebrate Commencement at UNC Asheville. Please visit our accommodations page for preferred places to stay, and use our campus maps and driving directions to find your way to campus. 

Graduates may request a special parking permit from the front desk of Weizenblatt Hall May 6-7 or at the Friday Commencement Rehearsal for any friends and family members in need of accessible parking. Accessible parking is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Transportation and Public Safety staff will be available upon arrival to direct guests to the appropriate parking areas.

Upon arrival, guests will be directed to available parking, and then may opt for a short walk, or use one of several shuttles that will be circulating University Heights. 

Accessible seating for guests is available in multiple locations. Guests with limited mobility may see any usher or volunteer for assistance in locating accessible seating.

Guests may arrive at any time. Volunteers will be on hand to assist beginning at 7:30 a.m. 

Please check this page for updates as Commencement approaches.

Weather information and any emergency announcements will be posted online and available through Bulldog Alert – UNC Asheville’s emergency information system.

Information for Alumni

Congratulations to UNC Asheville’s newest graduates. If you have any questions as you begin your transition from student to alumna/us, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 800.774.3381 (828.251.6512) or

UNC Asheville Alumni Association

Since the Association’s founding in 1947, lifetime membership has been a gift of the university to its graduates.  The association helps alumni stay connected to their alma mater, classmates, friends, faculty and staff, as well as to connect with alumni throughout the United States and in more than 50 countries. To learn more about the Association, its activities and benefits go to

Social Networking: Stay connected to your alma mater through the following social networks.

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Class Notes and Information Update: Help us stay connected by keeping us informed of changes to your contact information and share with us news about your life after UNC Asheville. Update Your Information Now

Career Services & Transcripts

Career Services: UNC Asheville graduates receive all the services of the UNC Asheville Career Center at no charge throughout their lives.  To learn about upcoming events, online job postings and more go to

Transcripts: Transcripts are provided to UNC Asheville graduates at no charge from the University in person or online with a small processing charge from the National Student Clearinghouse. For more information go to

Preserving the Memory

Video: Watch the full Commencement Ceremony online. DVD copies of the Commencement Ceremony will be available two- to four-weeks after the ceremony for $10 per copy. You may also come by the Video Production office (Ramsey Library 030C) and pick up a DVD during regular library hours.  Checks made out to UNC Asheville can be mailed to:

UNC Asheville
1 University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804
Attn: Kent Thompson, CPO 1510

If you have questions about Commencement, email or contact the Chancellor's Office at 828.251.6500.