UNC Charlotte commencement robes have officially been changed from black to green, which will take effect for the spring commencement ceremonies. Student Body Vice President Carrie Nowell has worked over the past two semesters on making the change happen. She said the idea originally came from Secretary for State and National Affairs Vincent Cahill this past summer. Cahill noted to Nowell that several schools in the North Carolina system had robes that matched their school colors. These schools include UNC Chapel Hill, East Carolina University and several others. Cahill thought it would be a good project for the student government to help build Niner pride.

There was a concern the change in color would change the price of the robes but the company that the University has already been using had the green robes and offered them at the same price as the black. The idea was presented to the Executive and Legislative branches in the fall and they supported the idea.

The student government sent out a survey about the idea to change colors and about 4,000 students responded which is roughly 17 percent of the undergraduate student body.  They also held publicity tables in the Student Union and had a model of the green robe to display. 64 percent of the students voted for the green robes. Many students stated in the survey that they were under the impression that the robes were already green.

Anonymous comments in the survey included, “I really love how wearing the green kind of screams how proud we are to graduate from UNC Charlotte.”

Nowell brought the results from the survey along with a sample of the robe to Chancellor Dubois and he gave his support to change the color.

While Nowell says that most of the feedback was positive, there was some backlash to the idea. Some students said that they wanted to stick with black robes because it was more traditional while others were concerned that it would clash with their outfit or they would not look good in green.

Students can pick up their green commencement robes at the Commencement Fair that will be held in March.


  1. 4,000 of the over 28,000 students. As one who doesn’t like the green robes I feel like they should’ve took more students opinions into account before making a decision that effects every graduating student.

  2. It’s kind of cute SGA thinks this is an idea unique to the current slate of elected senators and executive branch members. This idea has been shipped around since at least 2009, if not before. But good for them for finally making it happen.

  3. Personally in favor of the green. I appreciate the move for school spirit. Some of these comments relate black to college or accuse them of not polling enough people. I bet they polled plenty and nobody took it, as it usually goes, and plenty of other colleges have colors as their robes. Even the prestigious (and overly concerned with that prestige) UNC Chapel Hill have baby blue (sky blue?) gowns. This is nothing so drastic.

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