October 15, 2021
Seventeen months after taking their final exams as Tar Heels, the Class of 2020 was welcomed back to Chapel Hill for a long-awaited send-off. The graduates were invited by the university to a number of events throughout the weekend, including student organization and department reunions and traditions like the Bell Tower Climb. The weekend ultimately culminated in the belated Class of 2020 Commencement in Kenan Stadium, where students could finally turn their tassels alongside their classmates from other departments.
The Department of Computer Science honored its graduates with two events over the weekend. On October 8, the department welcomed the Class of 2020 back to Chapel Hill with a Commencement celebration outside Brooks Building. Computer science graduates and their families and friends were invited to fellowship with each other and with UNC CS faculty and staff from 6 to 8 p.m., prior to the “Welcome Back to Franklin Street” festivities nearby.
More than 130 graduates from the Class of 2020 registered for the event. Graduates were presented with gifts from the department, and the rain held off long enough for faculty, staff, graduates, and their families to gather amid the stone walls of the Brooks Building courtyard and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere on one of Carolina’s famous crisp October nights. Students were also welcomed back into Sitterson Hall and Brooks Building to reminisce about their time spent in the buildings.
On October 9, the department honored 20 doctoral graduates from 2020 and spring 2021 with a formal doctoral hooding ceremony. Held in a hybrid format, faculty advisors and graduates joined in Sitterson Hall and virtually via Zoom. Graduates attended this event from around the world, and the hybrid format allowed for the inclusion of those not able to travel to Chapel Hill. Faculty advisors took a few minutes to share the tremendous accomplishments of each graduate, providing a small explanation of their research, then (in some cases creatively and with the help of others via Zoom) placed the hood onto the shoulders of each graduate. A recording of the full doctoral hooding ceremony can be viewed here.
The Department of Computer Science is delighted to finally be able to recognize the Class of 2020 and can’t wait to see what these graduates will accomplish in the future.