Commencement weekend: School of Public Health welcomes new alumni

May 15, 2007
Photograph of students lining up for commencement

Photograph of students lining up for commencement
More commencement photographs


Despite darkening clouds that later delivered the downpour they promised, the lightheartedness of students lined up to enter Memorial Hall on Saturday, May 12, seemed to make the world a brighter place.

Joined by their families, friends and faculty from the School of Public Health, most of this spring’s 259 graduates participated in the School’s commencement ceremony, which began at 2 p.m. at the newly renovated Hall. Among the graduates were 48 undergraduates, 187 master’s and 24 doctoral students representing 32 states and 15 countries.

An additional 95 degrees were conferred in December 2006, among which were 4 undergraduate, 71 master’s and 20 doctoral degrees. The final numbers for the August 2007 graduates are not yet available.

Photograph of speaker Rye Barcott

Photograph of speaker Rye Barcott

Rye Barcott, who majored in international studies and peace, war and defense during his undergraduate years at UNC and is now working toward a joint master’s of business administration and master’s of public administration at Harvard University, was the keynote speaker. His talk focused on public health service and is available in PDF format.

Founder of a nonprofit organization called Carolina for Kibera (CFK), Barcott served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years, including in Iraq. Barcott remained an active volunteer for CFK during his active service in the Marines and serves as CFK’s president and one of the organization’s most eloquent advocates.

CFK benefits residents of Kibera, a neighborhood outside Nairobi, Kenya, that faces the challenges of extreme poverty, unemployment, ethnic violence, and rampant HIV/AIDS.

Following the commencement ceremony, students and their guests joined faculty for a reception in the atrium of the Michael Hooker Research Center.

A doctoral hooding ceremony, sponsored by the UNC Graduate School was held Saturday morning at 10 a.m. School of Public Health alumnus Dr. Bill Jenkins spoke at that event, which included recipients of doctoral degrees from the School of Public Health.


Rye Barcott’s speech:

Carolina for Kibera website:

School of Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, (919) 966-7467,