Big weekend: Duke, NCCU and UNC confer degrees to undergrads
Students at three local universities this weekend are celebrating completion of degrees with commencement ceremonies.
It all starts Saturday at 8 a.m. in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium at N.C. Central University as 682 undergraduates are expected to receive baccalaureate degrees.
Lezli Baskerville, president and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, will give the commencement address.
Should inclement weather occur, participants and guests would move indoors to McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium. The National Weather Service forecast indicates a slight chance of showers in the morning, but storms aren’t likely at all until the afternoon.
Duke University will award degrees to 5,100 students in Wallace Wade Stadium on Sunday at 10 a.m.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will deliver the commencement address.
Shelly Green, CEO of the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Durham can expect to bring in about $6.9 million this weekend in revenues for sales of food, hotel rooms, retail items, gasoline, car rentals and entertainment.
“Duke’s graduation weekend has always been an important event for Durham,” Green said. “We are delighted to host the thousands of parents, friends and family members who are here to celebrate such a meaningful occasion. We are also grateful that the attendees contribute a substantial impact on the community.”
Police officers and event staff will help with traffic and parking on campus. Free parking is available all weekend. However, some lots on the east side of Wallace Wade Stadium are restricted.
Parking is recommended in the lot on Frank Bassett Drive off Science Drive; the Science Drive visitors lot between N.C. Highway 751 and Towerview Drive; the lot at the corner of 751 and Science Drive; the Blue Zone lots on the east side of the stadium off Duke University Road; the parking garage on Science Drive near the Bryan Center; the Edens B and C lots off Towerview Drive; the Grounds lot off Cameron Boulevard and the Chemistry lot accessible from Circuit Drive.
On Sunday, Duke transportation shuttles will run from area hotels every 20 minutes starting at 8 a.m. and running until 1:30 p.m. Shuttles from Wallace Wade to East Campus, West Campus and the Bryan Center will run until 4:30 p.m.
In Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill confers degrees upon an estimated 5,991 undergraduate students starting at 9:30 a.m. in Kenan Stadium.
Dr. Atul Hawande, a celebrated surgeon and best-selling author, will deliver the commencement address at Chancellor Carol Folt’s first spring ceremony.
Traffic into Chapel Hill is expected to be slow and heavy from 8 to 9:45 a.m. and again between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to university officials. Raleigh Road and Cameron Avenue corridors are likely to be the heaviest.
Guests are encouraged to use park-and-ride shuttles off-campus, but those who want to park on campus may consider:
- Cardinal Deck: Off 15/501 and Columbia Street to Manning Drive, then turn right onto West Drive. Shuttles start at 7:15 a.m.
- Dogwood Deck: Off 15/501 and Columbia Street to Mason Farm Road and the East Drive. Shuttles start at 7:15 a.m.
- Manning Lot: Off 15/501 and Manning Drive, then Skipper Bowles Drive. Shuttles start at 7:15 a.m.
- Bowles Lot: Off 15/501 and Manning Drive then Skipper Bowles Drive. Shuttles start at 7:15 a.m.
Parking is free unless otherwise noted.
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