Tens Of Thousands Descend On Area For Graduations

May 10, 2013

Duke University is one of the many schools holding commencement ceremonies this weekend.
Credit Duke University

If you live anywhere near a college campus and don’t have a compelling reason to attend the half-dozen or so graduations going on in the Triangle and Triad, this might be a good weekend to get out of town. Tens of thousands of family and friends are set to descend on Durham, Raleigh, and Greensboro for commencement events throughout the weekend.

But if you own a restaurant or hotel or gas station, the next few days should be a gold mine. In Durham alone, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau estimates that Duke’s graduation will pump more than $6 million into the local economy. In Raleigh, where NC State, William Peace University, Meredith College, and Shaw University are holding graduations, that total will likely be more.

Weather could put a damper on some of the festivities, as the forecast includes possible storms. Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill could shorten the ceremony in the event of heavy rain. Both schools could cancel if severe weather threatens. NC State’s graduation is indoors.