Pinning Ceremony

Graduation & Pinning Ceremony

As part of a cherished Carolina tradition, all graduating first-generation college students are invited to wear a “Carolina Firsts” lapel pin on their graduation regalia, which they receive at the Pinning Ceremony the Saturday morning before graduation. We invite all graduating first-generation college students and their guests to join us for this event.

This annual tradition is a celebratory gathering commemorating the achievements of both our graduating students and those who have been by their side during their journey. The event is divided into two parts:

Part I: A celebratory breakfast at the Carolina Inn inside (Hill and Chancellor’s Ballrooms). This event does not have a formal program and guests are encouraged to explore the beautiful grounds, take photos and enjoy a lovely morning meal in one of the most beautiful and historic building on campus.

Part II: The Graduation Recognition & Pinning Ceremony. This special pinning ceremony is the focal point of our two-part event. During the ceremony, we will ask the person you have chosen to be your sponsor to pin you with a very special emblem designed for Carolina Firsts graduates.

Frequently asked questions about the Graduation and Pinning Ceremony

Unfortunately no. We have over 850 graduating FGCS each year and the venues available for the event have a 500 person maximum capacity. We ask that you only RSVP to the event if you are committed to attending.

In the past, students have selected a parent, a sibling, a friend, a daughter, a son or a mentor as their sponsor. This is completely up to you.

Yes! In the given case that a student selects the same faculty member to be their sponsor, I recommend that you all seat close to one another during the Ceremony so that she can pin both of you.

After having breakfast at the Carolina Inn, you will walk to the Great Hall inside the Student Union and check in. During the check-in process, volunteers will provide you with a pin and a ribbon. You will also be asked to write your name and its phonetic spelling name. We want to make sure that when your name gets called, we pronounce it correctly. DO NOT put the pin on. Your sponsor will pin you during the ceremony.

Your sponsor wears the ribbon to identify him or herself as your official sponsor and the person who has supported you during your time at Carolina. Your sponsor can put the ribbon on as soon as he or she receives it.

The dress code is business casual and you DON’T need your regalia.

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