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Campus Life

NC State to Hold Commencement Ceremony Dec. 18

red mortarboard with block S logo
NC State will award more than 3,500 degrees on Thursday during fall graduation ceremonies in the PNC Arena.

North Carolina State University will confer more than 3,500 degrees on graduating students during its fall commencement exercise, beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, in the PNC Arena in Raleigh.

During the ceremony, Chancellor Randy Woodson will confer 3,549 degrees – 90 associate’s, 2,087 bachelor’s, 1,037 master’s and 335 doctoral degrees. Twenty-seven valedictorians will be recognized for earning perfect 4.0 grade-point averages during their academic careers at NC State.

NC State has awarded 8,614 degrees this year, including 5,065 conferred in May.

Alumna Vivian Howard, a Kinston, North Carolina restaurateur featured on PBS’ “A Chef’s Life,” will deliver the commencement address. The show, which explores both traditional and modern applications of Southern ingredients, won a 2014 Peabody Award and was named a James Beard Media Award finalist.

Woodson will confer an honorary degree on behalf of NC State to George M. Whitesides, the most-cited living chemist and leader of a research group at Harvard University. Whitesides, who has co-founded a dozen companies and holds more than 50 patents, is known for wide-ranging work in fields such as soft robotics, the origins of life and medical diagnostic tools for the developing world.

NC State officials do not expect major traffic congestion but advise attendees to be in their seats by 8:15 a.m. NC State’s Amalgam Brass Ensemble will begin playing at 8:30 a.m., and graduates will march onto the arena floor at 9 a.m. More commencement information is available online at The event schedule is posted at


Note to editors: Media seating will be provided near the front of the stage on the left-hand side.


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  1. How soon after finals do seniors receive their grades and diplomas?

    Thank you for your response.

    Linda Wilson