Spring 2021 Commencement

UNC Asheville celebrated the Class of 2021 in two socially distanced ceremonies on the University Quad on Saturday, May 8. Watch the live streams below. Congratulations, Graduates!

Morning Ceremony

Afternoon Ceremony

Commencement Speaker & Honorary Degree Recipients

UNC Asheville awarded John R. Lewis, civil rights activist, politician and statesman, posthumously the Chancellor’s Medallion and the Honorary Doctorate of Laws. On behalf of Representative Lewis, Linda Earley Chastang, Esq., CEO for the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation, Inc., served as the Commencement speaker and recipient of the UNC Asheville Chancellor’s Medallion, the University’s highest non-academic distinction, given to recognize individuals who demonstrate distinguished national service and leadership.

UNC Asheville also awarded honorary degrees to:

  • Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2019–Present, member of the Academy of Arts and Letters 2021, who will receive the Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters;
  • Mel Chin, conceptual visual artist and author, and member of the Academy of Arts and Letters 2021, who will receive the Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts; and
  • King Prather, former North Carolina Blue Cross Blue Shield General Counsel, UNC Asheville Board of Trustees Member Emeritus, and parent of three UNC Asheville graduates, who will receive the Honorary Doctorate in Law and Public Policy.

Read the Commencement news release for more details.


The University is pleased to provide the Class of 2021 graduates with a complimentary photo taken during the Commencement ceremony. The complimentary photo will capture each graduate receiving their diploma from the Chancellor during the ceremony and will be mailed to each graduate’s address of record per the University Registrar sometime in June. Graduates and their families and guests can search for the images on the GradImages website to find them faster.

Aerial photo of 2021 spelled out with people
Click to download the Class of 2021 photo

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

2020 Virtual Fall Commencement

Please find more information about the graduates and ceremony speakers in the Commencement program.

If you have questions about Commencement, email