2018 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony
Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.
Dean E. Smith Center
Letter from the Dean
Through your years of hard work, your creativity and your determination, you've achieved something truly remarkable: the completion of your graduate studies. Congratulations! The Doctoral Hooding Ceremony is focused on recognizing your accomplishment. We hope you will take part in this ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 12, 2018 at the Dean E. Smith Center. We welcome family members, friends and anyone else you would like to invite.
Each doctoral graduate student who participates in the ceremony will be called to the stage to have the hood of the commencement regalia conferred by his or her adviser or other departmental faculty member.
Please review the rest of our site for answers to frequently asked questions and other important information you'll need to know about participating in the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. Graduate students are also encouraged to attend the University-wide Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 13, 2018.
Please accept my sincere thanks for what you've given your University — through your teaching, research and service — while pursuing your own ambitious academic goals. You've enriched Carolina during your years here, and I wish you abundant success in your careers.
Steve Matson, Ph.D.
Dean of The Graduate School
Professor of Biology
Hooding Ceremony Speaker: Dr. Kathryn Lofton
Dr. Kathryn Lofton is a professor of religious studies, American studies, history and divinity at Yale University. She is a critic of popular culture and historian of religion, with two books — Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon (2011) and Consuming Religion (2017) — in which she explores the intersection of popular culture, with its emphasis on personal consumption, and spirituality.
Dr. Lofton is an administrative leader with a commitment to making universities truly inclusive and equitable institutions. She is chair of the religious studies department at Yale and is a past chair of the university's Program in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and of LGBT studies. In 2016, she was appointed Yale's inaugural Faculty of Arts and Sciences deputy dean for diversity and faculty development.
She received both her master's and doctoral degrees in religious studies from UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Lofton has received many awards for excellence in teaching, beginning with several prizes during her time at UNC-Chapel Hill, including the 2005 Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
All May 2018 doctoral candidates, as well as 2017 August and December graduates, received an electronic invitation on March 1, 2018 to the Hooding Ceremony via Paperless Post to their UNC email address. Please RSVP directly to the invitation by March 31, 2018 with the name and email address of your hooding faculty.
If you have not received the invitation and/or believe your UNC email address to be inactive, please reach out to Hoi Ning Ngai, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and she will send the invitation to an alternate email address.
If your faculty adviser is unavailable to confer your hood, you can request that another faculty member (preferably from your dissertation committee), your Director of Graduate Studies, or your department chair confer your hood instead. If your faculty are unavailable to confer your hood, the Provost and the Royster professor will confer your hood.
Specific Information for the Day of the Hooding
- Check-in for all doctoral graduates participating in the Hooding Ceremony will begin at 8:00 a.m. inside Entrance D of the Dean E. Smith Center.
- Please arrive in full regalia and carry your hood with you to the ceremony. As doctoral graduates, tassels are worn on the left side before, during, and after graduating. They are not moved from the right side to the left side.
- Once checked-in, please find your faculty adviser (or alternate faculty member who will confer your hood) and proceed together to the first floor (lower level) for the processional line-up. The stairwell and elevator leading to the 1st floor are located at the check-in area inside Entrance D.
- Please do not carry gifts or other valuables with you to the processional line.
Caps and Gowns
Regalia will be available to purchase through the UNC Student Stores – on-line or in store. More information and deadlines for regalia sales
If you wish to purchase basic black keepsake robes, you can do so on-line through April 29th or in store through Graduation Day. These robes are meant to be a cost-effective and eco-friendly option for graduating students. This option takes 2 weeks and costs less than $100. On-line orders are delivered in 2 weeks and in-store purchases are available immediately.
If you wish to purchase more elaborate custom regalia, contact Sarah Hockaday at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the graduation department at UNC Student Stores for more information. This option takes 4-6 weeks and ranges between $800 and $1300. Custom regalia is available in traditional black or Carolina Blue. For guaranteed delivery by May 11, orders must be placed by April 20.
Commencement announcements can be purchased through Herff Jones.
Doctoral diplomas will be available for distribution in the Registrar's Office, located at the Student Academic Services Building, immediately following general Commencement, on Sunday, May 13, until 2 p.m. and during regular business hours for the three weeks immediately following commencement weekend. If your department has a separate ceremony, check with your department to determine whether or not they intend to distribute diplomas at their ceremony.
Diploma frames can be purchased at the UNC Student Stores.
Accessible Seating and Parking
Services for guests with disabilities or medical conditions are available. If guests have a state issued handicapped hangtag, they can park in the Williamson Lot directly across from the Dean Smith Center. The lot will be clearly marked with the appropriate signage. Golf carts will pick-up guests needing assistance from the lot and drop them at Gate A.
Accessible seating is located all along the concourse level in the Dean Smith Center. No ticket is required for seating. If you require other accommodations (interpreter services, more specialized seating, etc.), please contact Accessibility Resources & Service at email@example.com or (919) 962-0754; NC Relay 711.
Non-Hooding Faculty who are attending the Hooding Ceremony and wish to march in the academic processional should arrive at the Smith Center (Entrance D) no later than 9:00 a.m.
Faculty members are expected to wear full academic regalia. All faculty regalia can be rented online through the UNC Student Stores or purchased at 1.800.223.0429. More information and deadlines for regalia rentals
Reserved parking for faculty will be in the top tier of the Manning Lot.
All guests are welcome to attend the Hooding Ceremony May 12, 2018. No tickets are necessary for guests to attend and there is no restriction on the number of guests invited per each graduate. Guests should arrive between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and enter the Dean E. Smith Center at Entrance A or B. Please do not bring gifts into the Dean E. Smith Center.
Local Visitors Bureaus
The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau and the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau web sites provide information on local lodging, restaurants, scheduled events, shopping, tours, and area resources.
Parking for guests attending the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, May 12 will be available in most lots surrounding the Dean E. Smith Center. They include the Manning lot (on Bowles Drive between the Smith Center and Family Practice), the Bowles lot (Bowles Drive behind Craige Dorm) and the Business School Deck. Disability parking is available in the Williamson Lot across the street from the Smith Center by presenting a disability permit/placard or license plate. Guests needing parking accommodations for the elderly and not having a disability permit/plate or placard should contact Accessibility Resources and Service at (919) 962-8300.
Reserved parking for faculty and Deans will be in the top tier of the Manning Lot. Parking for members of the Platform Party and Deans will be in the Dean E. Smith Center Lot, behind the Koury Natatorium and the Smith Center.
Professional photographers from GradImages™ will be on stage at the Hooding Ceremony to photograph each student as they receive their commencement hood. Free proofs will be mailed to you and online viewing will be available at gradimages.com. There are no fees for reviewing the proofs and there is no obligation to purchase photographs.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Graduating students who have borrowed a Federal Stafford Loan while attending Carolina must complete Stafford Loan Exit Interview. Students should go to mappingyourfuture.org/oslc/ to complete an online Stafford Loan Exit Counseling session. The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid will be notified automatically once you complete the online session. Please save the confirmation page for your records.
Graduating students who have borrowed a Federal Perkins or Health Professions Loan or any long term University Loan must complete Exit Counseling by accessing the ECSI website. Students may contact the Office of Student Accounts & University Receivables at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What time do graduates need to be there?
The 2018 Graduate School Doctoral Hooding Ceremony will be held in the Dean E. Smith Center. The processional will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Students and their faculty advisers should arrive starting at 8:00 a.m. and NO LATER than 8:45 a.m. in full regalia. Students will need to pick up and hold on to their name cards, which will be scanned before they cross the stage, so that their names show up on the screen(s).
2. Are tickets required for guests?
No tickets are necessary for guests to attend and there is no restriction on the number of guests each graduate can invite.
3. When should guests arrive?
Guests should arrive between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and enter the Dean E. Smith Center at Entrance A. Please do not bring gifts into the Smith Center.
4. How long does the ceremony usually last?
The ceremony will be over no later than noon.
5. Will they call out my name?
Yes. Doctoral candidates will be individually recognized as they cross the stage.
6. Who can hood me?
Students should be hooded by their faculty adviser(s). If their faculty adviser(s) are unavailable, they can be hooded by another member of their committee and/or their program/department, such as their director of graduate studies or program/department chair. Students without available faculty will be hooded by the Provost and/or the Royster professor. Students cannot be hooded by a non-faculty member, such as family, friends, or colleagues.
7. Can I be hooded during this Ceremony but not officially graduate until later this year?
Unfortunately, no. Only candidates who have met all degree requirements for a May graduation (and August and December graduates from the PREVIOUS academic year) will be hooded at each Hooding Ceremony. If you officially graduate in a future semester, you will be invited to the following year's Hooding Ceremony.
8. Where do we park?
Parking for guests attending the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, May 12 will be available in most lots surrounding the Smith Center. They include the Manning lot (on Bowles Drive between the Smith Center and Family Practice), the Bowles lot (Bowles Drive behind Craige Dorm) and the Business School Deck.
Reserved parking for faculty will be in the top tier of the Manning Lot. Parking for members of the Platform Party and Deans will be in the Smith Center Lot, behind the Koury Natatorium and the Smith Center.
9. Is there handicapped parking?
Disability parking is available in the Williamson Lot across the street from the Smith Center by presenting a disability permit/placard or license plate. Guests needing parking accommodations for the elderly and not having a disability permit/plate or placard should contact Accessibility Resources and Service at (919) 962-8300. Contact Accessibility Resources and Service with requests for handicapped parking or seating, SASB, Suite 2126, (919) 962-8300.
10. How do I find out when my department is having its ceremony?
Please visit the School and Departmental Ceremonies & Receptions on the UNC main website
11. Is there housing on campus for Commencement?
No, housing is not available on campus for parents and guests. A list of hotels in the area is available on the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau and the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau websites.
12. Where do I get my diploma?
Doctoral diplomas will be available for distribution in the Registrar's Office, located at the Student Academic Services Building, immediately following general Commencement, on Sunday, May 13, until 2 p.m. unless your department is having a departmental ceremony on Sunday. Check with your department to determine whether or not they intend to distribute diplomas at their ceremony. All diplomas not picked up on Sunday will be mailed in the following weeks.
Helpful Phone Numbers and Web Sites
- Registrar's Office (919) 962-3956
- Disability Parking or Seating
- Accessibility Resources and Service (919) 962-8300
- Special Event Parking (919) 962-3951
- Caps, Gowns & Announcements
- Student Stores, email@example.com
- Alumni Membership
- General Alumni Association (919) 962-0742
- Graduate School
- Main Office — (919) 966-2611 or (919) 962-6329
- General Commencement Information
- University Events Office — (919) 962-2821
Information about the university-wide commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 13, 2018.