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129th Commencement Exercises


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Welcome students, family members and guests to North Carolina Central University's 129th Commencement Exercises. We wish to extend congratulations to the graduating students and their families on this occasion.

Chancellor's Letter

Read Interim Chancellor Akinleye’s message for graduates.


Use our handy checklist to make sure you are ready for Graduation Day. We have answers to your top questions.


The Graduation Ceremony is steeped in tradition. Learn what’s expected of participants and attendees.


Plan your route and parking with our directions and campus map.


Check out the full schedule to make your Commencement plans.

Inclement Weather Plan

In the event of severe weather conditions to ensure a great Commencement rain or shine.

About our Speakers

Joan Higginbotham
Retired Astronaut and Lowe’s Companies Inc. Executive

Joan Higginbotham began her career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1987 as a payload electrical engineer at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

She spent 308 hours in space during the Space Shuttle Discovery mission in 2006, becoming the third African-American woman to travel in space.

Higginbotham currently serves as the director of global sourcing for Lowe’s Companies Inc., where she facilitates transactions in key emerging countries, oversees cross-functional initiatives for global sourcing and ensures federal compliance.

The Chicago native and a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale also holds master’s degrees in management science and space systems from the Florida Institute of Technology and was awarded an honorary doctorate in aerospace science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

She has been a member of the NCCU Board of Trustees since 2013 and holds the office of secretary.

Mike Morgan
Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court

Justice Mike Morgan was sworn in as an associate justice for the North Carolina Supreme Court on Jan. 4, 2017.

Prior to his election, Morgan served for almost 27 years as a judge in Wake County’s Superior and District courts. Earlier, he served in the North Carolina Department of Justice for 10 years.

A native of New Bern, N.C., he is a graduate of Duke University and North Carolina Central University School of Law, where he served as student bar association president.

For the past 24 years, Justice Morgan has been on the faculty of the National Judicial College at The University of Nevada, where he teaches and trains judges from all over the United States.

He serves on several boards and organizations, including the United States Supreme Court Bar and the Wake County Bar Association.

Featured Graduates

Meet Juan Candela

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