Celebrating the Journey

Their path may have taken an unexpected turn, but the spring 2020 graduating class didn’t let it derail them.

On March 16, President Andy Feinstein sent a message to the university that  changed expectations for spring commencement ceremonies. “Based on guidance from CDC and others, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Spring graduation ceremonies,” he said.

In April, after several weeks spent gathering feedback from graduates, Feinstein announced that the university would host a separate and distinct set of commencement activities and ceremonies for our spring 2020 graduating class December 11-13.

“The resilient, formidable members of UNC’s spring 2020 graduating class will have their own time to shine,” he wrote.

We asked graduates to share their thoughts as the semester came to a close. Their comments make up a video that will become part of the university’s historic record. Here, we share a few of their wishes for fellow graduates:

“I hope we all made it through our experience with more compassion, knowledge and dedication to what we want to achieve in life, and the ability to do whatever that is. Go get ‘em Bears!”

–Ally Van Dyke, Music Business, Classical Voice


“The class of 2020 is resilient, innovative and flexible. This has been a tumultuous time in our lives, but we need to remember the struggles we are facing today, the questions we have about tomorrow can be answered by us. This time is unprecedented and in unprecedented times, new ideas are formed, action is taken, and struggle becomes inspiration for change.”

–Miranda Villavicencio, International Affairs


“Even when it seems tough, keep going, never stop, never give up, here is where you set the precedent for the rest of your life.”

–Mark Lown, Political Science


“We are all in this together, and I hope you all continue to do amazing things and continue to pursue your dreams and goals. I hope to see you all in December where we can finally celebrate the day we’ve been working so hard for and be surrounded by all the people that have supported us through this journey!”

–Alexis Loma, Criminology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology