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Quick quiz:  Where can you find 1600 pimiento-cheese sandwiches on Mother’s Day?

If you were in Chapel Hill on May 11 you know the answer.  The Economics Department filled the Global Education Center for a reception after the graduation ceremony in Kenan Stadium; the graduates and their families had the opportunity to celebrate together and recognize one another’s accomplishments.  They also devoured nearly 800 Tar Heel cookies, 1600 pimiento-cheese sandwiches and 50 gallons of Carolina blue punch!

The weather forecasters had tagged Mother’s Day to be full of clouds and drizzle, but in fact the sun shone down on Kenan Stadium (as in the picture above).  We had 319 undergraduates receiving degrees, and around 175 of them brought their families and loved ones with them to the Global Education Center for our reception.

One of the treats of Commencement for those not graduating has always been to watch the seniors in their Carolina blue robes pour down the sides of Kenan Stadium to their seats – that river of blue reminds us of the magnitude of our joint accomplishment each year.  At our reception we have a similar thrill, as each graduate comes down the stairs from the second floor to receive his or her certificate on the first floor stage.  It’s a moving ceremony for all.


Fourteen students completed the requirements to graduate with honors or highest honors.  The Office of Undergraduate Research sponsors an Undergraduate Research Day each year, and the students writing honors theses fill the Great Hall of the Student Union with their posters.  The Economics honors students were very impressive.  Not only did they fill an entire aisle of the exhibition, but they were both willing and very able to explain the technique and importance of their research.  Two of these students – Laura McCready and Chenxi Yu – shared the award for best thesis this year.

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