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NC State to Hold Fall Commencement Ceremony on Thursday

A graduate student takes a cell phone photo at the commencement ceremony

North Carolina State University will confer degrees on nearly 3,600 graduating students during its fall commencement exercise, beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. Media coverage is invited.

Dr. William L. Roper, interim president of the University of North Carolina System, will deliver NC State’s commencement address. During the ceremony, Chancellor Randy Woodson will confer an honorary degree on Curtis Worth Fentress, world-renowned architect of civic and government buildings, airports, museums and convention centers.

During the ceremony, NC State will award 3,585 degrees – 64 associate’s, 2,008 bachelor’s, 1,146 master’s and 367 doctoral degrees. With the 6,125 degrees conferred in May, NC State will award a total of 9,710 degrees in 2019.

Fentress earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors from NC State in 1972, winning the Alpha Rho Chi Medal, an architectural school’s highest honor. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010. He received the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Thomas Jefferson Award and the AIA Western Mountain Region Silver Medal in 2010. He is the 2020 chair for AIA’s national Committee on Design.

Fentress began his career working with I.M. Pei. In the late 1970s, his work with Kohn Pedersen Fox led him to Denver, Colorado, as project designer for the 36-story Amoco Building. In 1980 he founded his own firm in Denver. By 1989 he was chosen to design the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport after submitting a design recognized around the world today and lauded as North America’s best airport.

Fentress has won 45 major design competitions. As an adjunct professor in the School of Architecture at NC State’s College of Design for six years, he has mentored the next generation. He conducts an annual Airport of the Future Global Challenge for architecture students. He co-founded the nonprofit Aerial Futures which has held global symposia on transportation design.

NC State officials do not expect major traffic congestion on Thursday, but they 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.

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

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