The class of 2012 took almost 30 minutes to fill, and then overfill, the Kenan Stadium student section. With them they carried items ranging from a bright pink umbrella to a small planted tree.
Chancellor Holden Thorp presided over the ceremony and started by addressing the seniors.
“This is your day, and all of us join you in a celebration of your academic achievement,” Thorp said.
Speaker Michael Bloomberg began his commencement address with several Tar Heel cheers, and said innovation will make graduating seniors successful.
“Light and liberty; that is the motto of your university, and I believe it will be the motto of the twenty-first century,” Bloomberg said.