Journalist and UNC alumnus Frank Bruni will be the Spring 2022 kick-off speaker

New York Times columnist and best-selling author Frank Bruni will be the spring 2022 speaker, the university announced Thursday.

Bruni will address UNC graduates at the commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 8 at 9 a.m. at Kenan Stadium.

“The fact that Carolina is one of the great universities in the country and provides an education at an affordable price to many young Americans is important to me,” Bruni said in a press release. our lives through our alma mater because I want to return this favor.

Bruni was originally scheduled to speak at the Spring 2020 launch, but the ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19, and he instead recorded a video message for the virtual celebration.

Alumnus of UNC in 1986, Bruni has since served as a columnist, White House correspondent, Rome bureau chief and chief food critic for The New York Times.

Bruni has also written several books. Her next memoir, titled “The Beauty of Twilight,” focuses on finding optimism after partially losing her sight.

Bruni is the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of Journalism Practice and Public Policy at Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy. Last semester, he was the keynote speaker for the 2021 Thomas Wolfe Prize and Lecture at UNC.

“Frank Bruni is one of my favorite writers, and also happens to be one of Carolina’s many esteemed and accomplished alumni,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a press release. “He has written extensively on higher education, civic engagement and public service, and I believe he is uniquely placed to speak to our graduates at this critical time.”

Prior to the ceremony, Bruni spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on the college experience and offered advice to senior graduates.

“When you can’t do something according to the idealized scenario, you can improvise with ingenuity and resilience,” Bruni said. “If the class can look past what didn’t happen and focus on what they learned about themselves, they’ll come to the conclusion that they had one of the more useful than you can imagine.


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