Commencement is a time to recognize the completion of graduates' academic journeys and celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, all while honoring campus traditions. The UNC Charlotte Alumni Association sponsored a series of events Thursday, May 12, to help the Class of 2022 transition from students to alumni.
“On behalf of the 160,000 49er alumni around the globe, it is an honor to welcome the Class of 2022 into the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association,” said Sallie Sistare, executive director of alumni engagement. “Your relationship with Charlotte is one that will last a lifetime and your Alumni Association is here to help you stay connected and involved as ambassadors, advocates and investors.”
Donning of the Kente
The Donning of the Kente Ceremony, sponsored by the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association and the Black Alumni Chapter, celebrated graduating students by recognizing their African roots; 115 students participated and received Kente clothes that represented their African heritage and achievements. Ohavia Phillips '15 talk show host and activist, was the alumni speaker at the event held in the McKnight Hall in the Cone University Center.
Legacy Draping Ceremony
Students with at least one parent, stepparent, grandparent or sibling who is an alumnus/alumna of UNC Charlotte are legacy students. More than 70 legacy families participated in a special reception in the Popp Martin Student Union celebrating the tradition of a Charlotte education. Each graduate was draped in a vibrant gold stole by a loved one.
49er Ring Ceremony
The Ring Ceremony is another Niner Commencement tradition; 40 students were presented their class rings at the Popp Martin Student Union. Afterward, they were encouraged to dip their rings into the sluice pan of the “49er Miner” to strengthen their ties to UNC Charlotte and its founding as a pioneering institution of opportunity. The 49er ring is an emblem of academic achievement. Designed by students and 49er alumni, the class ring captures the very essence of life on and around Niner Nation. Each symbol that adorns the ring was carefully chosen to capture the pride and passion of UNC Charlotte.