April 21, 2011
Thomas W. Ross, new president of the University of North Carolina system, will deliver the commencement address, and business and education leader C.D. Spangler will receive an honorary doctoral degree when UNC Asheville holds its May 2011 Commencement at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7. The university is expecting 5,000 people, including graduates, faculty and guests, to fill the University Quadrangle for the ceremony.
UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder will confer bachelor's and master's degrees on some 440 graduates, and an honorary Doctor of Liberal Arts degree on Spangler. Also at the commencement ceremony, Sophie Mills, chair and professor of Classics, will receive the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.
At UNC Asheville, Ross will deliver his first commencement address since assuming the presidency of the 17-campus UNC system on January 1. Prior to his appointment at the University of North Carolina, Ross served as president of Davidson College, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, director of North Carolina's Administrative Office of the Courts, and judge for the North Carolina Superior Court. A native of Greensboro, Ross holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Davidson College and graduated with honors from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law.
Spangler was the second president of the UNC system and held the office for 11 years, beginning in 1986. As president, Spangler helped break down gender barriers by selecting the university system’s first two women chancellors. Spangler has also served as chairman of the State Board of Education, and as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, where he championed the integration of North Carolina public schools and the establishment of public kindergarten for all five-year-olds.
Spangler continues to support education through philanthropy. The Spangler Foundation has created dozens of distinguished professorships within the UNC system, several of which are endowed professorships at UNC Asheville. In addition, he has made multimillion-dollar gifts to scholarships and other education-related causes.
For more information about commencement, click on www.unca.edu/commencement or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 828.251.6512.