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It is a great pleasure to greet you—graduating students, friends and family—as we celebrate the Department of Communication’s 2020 graduating class—virtually.

We celebrate, even in the midst of the most serious global health and economic crisis that has occurred in many generations. We celebrate the kind of individual and collective work and sacrifices that brought you thus far and that will carry you, and all of us, through this moment.

You will notice in the commemorative commencement document that this year we have one hundred sixty five graduates, including six doctoral candidates, and one candidate for the Master of Arts degree. Over fifty members of our undergraduate students are graduating with highest distinction, or distinction, and four have been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most honored college honorary society. One student will be graduating with High Honors.  In the Cultural Studies major, housed in the department, there is also one student graduating with High Honors.

As faculty members, we take seriously our mission to nurture students and provide them with the critical capacities that will hold them in good stead in the years to come. For us, commencement is the tangible expression and celebration of everything that we hold dear as a department and as a global public research university that cherishes the transformative power of a liberal arts education.

-Patricia Parker, Department Chair

Each year, the Department of Communication and the Graduate School of the university recognize students who have committed years of their lives to expand our understanding of the ways communication and culture shape and might be used to reshape the lives of individuals and society. The pursuit of a graduate degree in Communication evinces a passionate faith in the importance of producing and sharing the best knowledge possible, in the hopes of contributing to society’s futures. Under even the best of circumstances, completing the rigorous demands of graduate studies requires an extraordinary commitment of time, energy and resources. This spring, our graduating students faced a campus closure amidst an unprecedented global health crisis. Their perseverance is truly inspiring, and we offer our deepest congratulations to the 2020 graduating class of M.A. and Ph.D. students, and to the families and friends who have supported them.

-Michael Palm, Director of Graduate Studies



We are honored to share this important day with the graduating class. Throughout these students’ time at Carolina, we’ve witnessed their impressive intellectual and personal growth and have been privileged to be a part of their lives. Among their many accomplishments, three of our graduating students were inducted into the distinguished honors society, Phi Beta Kappa. Congratulations to Lisl Clair Eltschlager, Barron John Northrup, Samuel Joseph Bible-Sullivan, and Nicole Marie Saca. Michael Joseph Doucette, Jr. received High Honors in Cultural Studies, and Jessie Noel Casimir earned High Honors in Communication. These extraordinary students are representative of the overall impressive character of this graduating class. Congratulations to the 2020 graduating class members and their families.

-Sarah Dempsey, Director of Undergraduate Studies



Each year, the Department of Communication welcomes high-achieving undergraduate communication majors to join our Theta Kappa chapter of Lambda Pi Eta.  Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) is the official honor society of the National Communication Association and membership signifies elite status in the communication field.  We are immensely proud of the intellect and dedication our Theta Kappa tar heels have demonstrated within the Department of Communication.  We have been privileged to witness the scholarship, perseverance, and compassion of our LPH members, and the lasting bonds they have created within our Carolina community.  We are so grateful for our committed Theta Kappa chapter officers who so brilliantly fortified unity among communication majors and ensured members flourished within LPH.  Congratulations members of Lambda Pi Eta, Theta Kappa chapter!  We also offer our sincerest congratulations to LPH members in the graduating class of 2020, all of whom have demonstrated great resilience during this difficult time.  

-Nicole Saca, President, Lambda Pi Eta

-Katie Striley, Faculty Advisor, Lambda Pi Eta


This commemorative commencement program is available for you to print off and keep as a reminder of your accomplishments.  Graduation Program 2020

Instructions: Print double sided pages.  The order of the program should be:

  1. Front Page
  2. Department Chair Welcome Message
  3. Director of Graduate Studies Message/ List of Doctoral and Masters Candidates
  4. Director of Undergraduate Studies Message/ Spring 2020 Grads
  5. Spring 2020 Grads/Summer 2020 Grads
  6. Fall 2019 Grads, Phi Beta Kappa Inductees/ Honors Students, Lambda Pi Eta Inductees
  7. Back Page
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