December 2018 Commencement

Friday, December 14, 4 p.m.
UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center, Kimmel Arena

Please join us as we celebrate the graduates, and share your experience on social media. Tag your posts and photos with #uncavl2018 and follow the event online at,, and

Information for Graduates

The Registrar’s Office provides important dates and deadlines for graduationIf you are a prospective graduate and have not been receiving emails concerning graduation, please notify Alicia Shope at Reminders of the dates and deadlines will be sent through email.

UNC Asheville’s December 2018 Commencement will take place on Friday, December 14, at 4 p.m., in Kimmel Arena in the Sherrill Center. Graduates need to line up at 3 p.m. on the indoor track at the Student Recreation Center.

December 14 Rehearsal Breakfast

A rehearsal breakfast for the graduates will be held on Friday, December 14, at 8:30 a.m. in the Student Recreation Center. Following breakfast, Commencement Rehearsal will begin at 10 a.m. and graduates are required to attend. Due to limited space, family and friends are not able to attend the breakfast.

Commencement Speakers

Michael Davis, a native of Asheville, N.C., is a senior management major, with an emphasis on marketing and entrepreneurship. As president of the Student Government Association, he is known as an energetic and engaging presence on campus, has been involved in various leadership and service positions at UNC Asheville throughout his college experience, including serving as executive of diversity and inclusion of the Student Government Association, an orientation leader, a campus garden volunteer, a Jump Start intern, an AVID mentor, a member of the Black Student Association, and more. His involvement in the Asheville community includes service as a member of the WNC Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast Committee, and a volunteer with the Hillcrest Learning Center, among many other roles. He has served on the UNC System Safety Committee and worked for the Chancellor’s Office and Department of Public Safety, and has received numerous local awards, including the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Award. In his senior year, Davis achieved his long-term goal of serving as the Student Body President, during which time he worked to increase coordination between student organizations and to help improve the sense of community on campus.

Bert Holmes, Carson Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, is a leader and mentor in undergraduate research, having co-authored articles with more than 100 students over the course of his career, which have been published in peer-reviewed professional journals. He has conducted research in the summer with undergraduates for decades, and is co-author of a booklet commissioned by the Council on Undergraduate Research, “How to Get Started in Research at Undergraduate Institutions.”

Holmes, a physical chemist, teaches physical chemistry along with introductory chemistry courses and advanced courses in atmospheric and environmental chemistry. His research has been supported for 25 consecutive years by grants from the National Science Foundation and has generated over $3 million in external support.

Holmes spent his entire career teaching at liberal arts colleges. Before coming to UNC Asheville in 1998, Holmes spent 15 years at Lyon College as the W. C. Brown, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and head of the mathematics and natural sciences division. He began his career in 1975 at Ohio Northern University as an assistant professor and then associate professor of chemistry.

Holmes has built a legacy in the Chemistry Department, which has consistently hired talented teacher-scholars who are dedicated to inquiry-based learning, early and ongoing engagement in undergraduate research in the major, and inclusive excellence in guiding all students through a rigorous curriculum. With his colleagues, he has established and nurtured a culture based on the premise that research with undergraduates is the most effective educational pedagogy. Students become scientists by doing science, and they learn best while working side-by-side with a faculty mentor to address questions where no one knows the answers.

In addition to UNC Asheville’s 2018 Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award, Holmes has also received the 2018 Council on Undergraduate Research Fellows Award, which honors individuals who have developed internationally respected research programs involving undergraduate students. He has also received the American Chemical Society Award for Undergraduate Researchers and the Catalyst Award for the teaching of chemistry.

Information for Friends and Families

We welcome families and friends to campus to celebrate Commencement at UNC Asheville. Please visit our accommodations page for other preferred places to stay, and use our campus map to find your way on campus.

Preceding Commencement, graduating students and their families are cordially invited to attend receptions with UNC Asheville faculty and staff from their academic departments and programs. Receptions will be held in the Highsmith Union Grotto and Food Court from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.


Graduates may request a special parking permit from the front desk of Weizenblatt Hall December 14 or at the Commencement Rehearsal for any friends and family members in need of accessible parking. Accessible parking is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parts of University Heights (between the Bulldog statue and Rhoades-Robinson/Zeis) might be closed to those without accessible parking permits or handicap placards. Transportation and Public Safety staff will be available upon arrival to direct guests to the appropriate parking areas. Carpooling is encouraged.

Upon arrival, guests will be directed to available parking, and then may opt for a short walk, or use one of several shuttles that will be circulating University Heights.


Accessible seating for guests is available in Kimmel Arena. Guests with limited mobility may see any usher or volunteer for assistance in locating accessible seating. Volunteers will be on hand to assist guests with seating.


For security reasons, backpacks are not permitted in Kimmel Arena. Purses, camera bags, and diaper bags will be allowed, but all bags will be subject to search. For the safety of all, campus community and guests will pass through metal detectors or be checked with a hand held detector upon entry to the Commencement ceremony. In addition, the following items are not permitted in the Kimmel Arena: weapons of any kind, drinks without lids, glass containers, balloons, alcoholic beverages, tobacco items, e-cigarettes, vapor devices, and illegal drugs. Strollers and umbrellas are not permitted in the aisles; however, storage areas will be available for them.

Concessions will be available in Kimmel Arena.

Weather Announcements

In the event of severe weather, weather information and any emergency announcements will be posted online and available through Bulldog Alert – UNC Asheville’s emergency information system.

Information for Alumni

Congratulations to UNC Asheville’s newest graduates. If you have any questions as you begin your transition from student to alumna/us, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 828.251.6512 or

UNC Asheville Alumni Association

Since the Association’s founding in 1947, lifetime membership has been a gift of the university to its graduates.  The association helps alumni stay connected to their alma mater, classmates, friends, faculty and staff, as well as to connect with alumni throughout the United States and in more than 50 countries. To learn more about the Association, its activities and benefits go to

Social Networking: Stay connected to your alma mater through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Class Notes and Information Update: Help us stay connected by keeping us informed of changes to your contact information and share with us news about your life after UNC Asheville.

Update Your Information Now

Career Services & Transcripts

Career Services: UNC Asheville graduates receive all the services of the UNC Asheville Career Center at no charge throughout their lives.  To learn about upcoming events, online job postings and more go to

Transcripts: Transcripts are provided to UNC Asheville graduates at no charge from the University in person or online with a small processing charge from the National Student Clearinghouse. Find more information on ordering transcripts here.

Preserving the Memory

View the complete December 2018 Commencement Ceremony here.

If you have questions about Commencement, email