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Thousands get college diplomas, despite weather

The threat of severe weather prompted one venue change, but thousands of seniors still walked across the stage Sunday morning.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Area colleges handed out thousands of degrees to graduates on Sunday, although the threat of severe weather prompted one venue change.

Meredith College moved its graduation ceremony from the on-campus McIver Amphitheater to the J.S. Dorton Arena at the State Fairgrounds. During the ceremony, 275 women received diplomas.

Rain did not move the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's graduation from Kenan Stadium. Audience members were able to carry umbrellas during the ceremony, which began at 9:30 a.m.

A page in memoriam about slain UNC Student Body President Eve Carson appeared in Sunday’s commencement program. The university awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree with the highest distinction to the 22-year-old senior.

Senior Class President Ashley Shores also spoke of Carson during her remarks to the audience.

“I consider myself enormously privileged to have known and worked with Eve Carson, our beloved class member, student body president and friend,” Shores said.

Carson, of Athens, Ga., was found shot to death March 5 in a street near campus. Two men are charged with first-degree murder.

Among those walking across the stage were six members of the inaugural C-STEP class. That program works with community colleges to help low- and middle-income students pay for their education.

Around 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students were awarded degrees Sunday morning at Duke University's Wallace Wade Stadium. It was estimated that about 16,000 people attended the ceremony.

North Carolina State University, Saint Augustine's College, Peace College, Shaw University and Fayetteville State University all held their graduations on Saturday. North Carolina Central University held its ceremony last weekend.

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Anne Johnson, Web Editor

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