Durham County

North Carolina Central University 129th Commencement Weekend details

Graduates celebrate as their friends names are called during N.C. Central University’s 2016 commencement.
Graduates celebrate as their friends names are called during N.C. Central University’s 2016 commencement. News & Observer 2016 file photo

North Carolina Central University is hosting spring commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, to award approximately 1,211 baccalaureate, doctoral, graduate and professional (juris doctor) degrees.

Doctoral, graduate and professional degrees are being awarded at 3 p.m. on Friday in McDougald—McLendon Arena. The baccalaureate ceremony will take place on Saturday at 8 a.m. in O’Kelly—Riddick Stadium.

Graduate and Professional Commencement, May 12

NCCU will award its first cohort of doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in integrated biosciences in more than 50 years at the Graduate and Professional Commencement Exercises. The speaker will be Mike Morgan, North Carolina Supreme Court associate justice. He was elected to the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2016. Prior to his election, Morgan served for almost 27 years as a judge in Wake County’s Superior and District courts. Earlier, he served in the North Carolina Department of Justice for 10 years. Morgan is an alumnus of the NCCU School of Law.

Baccalaureate Commencement, May 13

The speaker will be retired astronaut Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s Companies Inc. executive and a member of the NCCU Board of Trustees. Higginbotham is one of three African-American women to travel into outer space. After her successful stint with NASA, Higginbotham served in an executive role with Marathon Oil Company. Currently, she serves as secretary on the NCCU Board of Trustees, an appointment she has held since 2013. Higginbotham is the director of Global Sourcing for Lowe’s Companies Inc.

Weather contingency for May 13

Commencement will take place rain or shine and will be relocated only in the event of severe weather conditions. In case of rain, the ceremony will be shortened. If conditions are a threat to personal safety (lightning, severe storms, tornadoes), the ceremony will be moved into the McDougald-McLendon Arena and graduates will be limited to a maximum of three ticketed guests.

Updated weather event advisories will be shared on the NCCU website and related social media networks. The detailed Inclement Weather Plan can be found on the Commencement website or by calling 919-530-7220.

Overflow accommodations

Simulcast viewing sites will be available for guests, faculty and staff. Both exercises will be streamed online.

The ceremony will be telecast on campus at the following viewing sites:

▪  B.N. Duke Auditorium, 1851 Fayetteville St.

▪  Miller-Morgan Auditorium, 500 Nelson St.

▪  Albert E. Turner School of Law Building, Room 100, 640 Nelson St.

▪  H.M. Michaux Jr. School of Education Auditorium, 700 Cecil St.

▪  Mary Townes Science Complex, Rooms 1111,1221, 2221, 1900 Concord St.


The university will have open parking throughout the campus for both ceremonies. Primary parking sites for attendees will be the Latham Parking Deck at 615 Lawson St., the lot at the corner of Nelson and Fayetteville streets, and the lower-level lot at the Science Complex near Lawson and Concord streets.

Spaces available for commencement attendees are:

Friday, May 12

▪  Latham Parking Deck — any open space in the deck and surface lot

▪  Other parking options — Nelson Street lot; Lower Level parking lot behind the Science Complex

▪  Handicap Parking — rear lot at 615 Lawson St.; Latham Parking Deck (nine handicap spaces available)

Saturday, May 13

▪  Primary parking for visitors - Latham Parking Deck

▪  Other parking options - Nelson Street parking lot; Lower Level parking lot behind the Science Complex; along Campus Drive

▪  Handicap Parking - Latham Parking Deck (nine handicap spaces available)

Parking on sidewalks and grassy areas is prohibited.

For more information, click here.