NC State

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

Graduation ceremonies kick off this weekend for colleges and universities across North Carolina. But before hundreds of students walk across the stage to get their diploma, they will be charged by a commencement speaker. 

Speakers will share stories and words of wisdom as the graduates begin their next chapter. This year's roster ranges from a late-night talk show host to a U.S. Congressman. Here are the people students and attendees should look forward to hearing this graduation season.

Members of the Barakat and Abu-Salha families share their gratitude for N.C. State's new scholarship fund honoring the memories of Razan Abu-Salha, Deah Abu-Salha and Yusor Abu-Salha.
Reema Khrais

North Carolina State University is creating a scholarship fund to honor Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha, three family members who were shot to death in Chapel Hill February 10. A neighbor, Craig Hicks, has been charged with first-degree murder.

“This is the first blessing and the first happy day after the tragedy,” said Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of Razan and Yusor, on Friday afternoon when university officials announced the new endowment.