University of North Carolina at Wilmington

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University of North Carolina Wilmington
UNC Wilmington seal.png
Former names
Wilmington College
Motto Discere Aude
Motto in English
Dare to Learn
Type State University
Established September 4, 1947 (1947-09-04)
Endowment $98.11 million (2015)[1]
Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 13,218
Postgraduates 1,700
Location Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S.
Colors Teal, navy, and gold[2]
Nickname Seahawks
Mascot Sammy the Seahawk
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division ICAA

The University of North Carolina Wilmington[3] (UNCW), sometimes referred to as UNC Wilmington, is a public, co-educational university located in Wilmington, North Carolina, United States. UNCW enrolls over 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students each year as part of the 17-campus University of North Carolina System.


UNCW opened its doors on September 4, 1947 as Wilmington College. At the time the school operated as a junior college, offering freshman-level courses to 238 students during the first school year, 75% of whom were veterans returning from military service following World War II. Under the control of the New Hanover County Board of Education, Wilmington College earned accreditation from the North Carolina College Conference in 1948 and became a member of the American Association of Junior Colleges. Further accreditation came in 1952 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 1958, Wilmington College was placed under the Community College Act of North Carolina, passing control from the New Hanover County Board of Education to a board of trustees as a state-supported college under the supervision of the North Carolina Board of Higher Education.

Wilmington College became a senior college on July 1, 1963, when the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation allowing the school to offer a four-year curriculum and award bachelor's degrees. Six years later, July 1, 1969, the name of the school was changed to The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, making UNCW the fifth campus of the University of North Carolina system. On August 22, 1977, UNCW was authorized to offer its first graduate programs at the master's level.[1] Currently, UNCW has more than 14,919 students enrolled and more than 600 full-time faculty members. The school offers 52 bachelor's degrees, 36 master's degrees and four doctoral degrees: Ed.D. Educational Leadership; Ph.D. Marine Biology and Psychology and a [4] Doctorate in Nursing Practice.[2]

Student life[edit]

Campus life[edit]

The university offers degrees in humanities, sciences, health, business and professional fields. The university’s highly ranked marine science program draws a variety of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean is a draw for incoming freshmen.

Teal is the official school color of UNCW, with navy and gold as alternate colors.

The middle 50% SAT scores for incoming freshmen in 2012 were 1130 to 1250, with a middle 50% weighted GPA of 3.71 to 4.33. In 2013 the total number of applicants submitted was 11,838, accepting 6,160 resulting in a 52% acceptance rate. The freshman class in 2013 had 1,939 students.[5]

Student facilities[edit]

In 2000, the Student Recreation Center was opened to students, staff, and faculty members. It houses three basketball courts, exercise machines, a weight training area, an indoor running track, and an indoor climbing wall. It also includes a group exercise room which supports multiple clubs and activities, including Yoga, Pilates, and an Aikido club. In 2012, the Student Recreation Center completed an expansion of facilities, as well as construction on a new nadatorium. This construction doubled the size of the existing Recreation Center.[6]

Lumina Theater, named after the boardwalk theater that was once found on Wrightsville Beach features 360 stadium seats, a 15.5' x 30' screen, Dolby Digital surround sound, 35mm capabilities and a digital projection system. Lumina screens blockbusters, independents, cult classics, art films, international films and student films throughout the academic year, four or more days a week, except during University holidays and breaks. Some notable Lumina events included a multi-part, high-definition screening of BBC's Planet Earth series over the span of several weekends, and a yearly 24-hour lock-in.

Residential accommodation[edit]

Galloway Hall is UNCW's first residence facility on campus, and has a standard hall-style double room arrangement with shared bathrooms for the entire hall. Housing 400 students, predominately first-years, Galloway has a very social atmosphere.

Graham-Hewlett and Belk dormitories are configured in suite-style dorm arrangements with eight to ten individuals sharing a bathroom. Graham-Hewlett houses 384 residents and Belk houses 192 residents, and both facilities consist of predominately first-year students. Belk Hall was the only exclusively female dormitory until the 2016-2017 school year, when the first floor housed male students for the first time.

Schwartz Hall houses 160 residents, and is home to mostly first-year students. A double room layout features shared bathrooms but is distinguished by its "pod" layout in contrast with the typical hall style dorms. Schwartz Hall is also home to special interest housing, which includes the "Men of Teal" floor, "Teaching Fellow" floor and "Wellness" floor.

Newer dormitories on campus include Honors (100 Honors Scholar residents), International (100 international and American residents) and Cornerstone Hall (265 residents arranged in "Learning Communities") and are arranged with a courtyard between them to form what is referred to as "Tri-house". These dormitories were constructed in the late 1990s and early 2000s and are considered to be the most luxurious and well-maintained freshman residences on campus.

In addition to dormitories, UNCW also has on-campus apartments and suites. There are 13 apartment buildings which can serve as home to 400 students. The University Apartments house four students, who all have separate bedrooms and share a bathroom, living room, and kitchen.

The University Suites, built in the late 1980s, include seven suite buildings which can also house 400 students. Two floor plans consist of six bedroom units housing 12 students and 10 bedroom units housing ten students. All residents of the Suites share bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. University Suites are home to various sororities and fraternities on campus.

Seahawk Village is a luxury apartment complex of six buildings housing 85 students each. With a similar design to off-campus accommodations, Seahawk Village houses predominately upperclassmen. Seahawk Village features a club house with swimming pool, and includes a mix of two, three, and four bedroom apartments with a total of 524 beds. The apartments are fully furnished and feature a full-service kitchen and washer and dryer in each apartment.[7]

Seahawk Landing features living arrangements similar to that found in the Seahawk Village facility, with expanded amenities including a sandwich/coffee shop, convenience market, and small-scale recreation facility located on site. Seahawk Landing houses 603 students in seven apartment buildings, predominately upperclassmen.

Seahawk Crossing, opened in 2009, is the most recent addition to residential facilities on campus. Seahawk Crossing’s four apartment buildings comprise four, six, and eight bedroom apartments and house 662 students. Apartment-pod style rooms are fully furnished, and residents are allowed access to the Seahawk Crossing parking deck.

Off-campus housing[edit]

There are many apartments and condos in the neighborhoods surrounding the university. The Seahawk Perch, which is maintained by the Dean of Students Office, is available to assist off-campus students.

Campus dining[edit]

UNCW has several options for campus dining. The primary venue for dining on campus is Wagoner Hall, commonly referred to as Wag by students and staff. Wagoner Hall serves as a standard dining hall setup, with various stations offering a variety of foods, including a salad bar and assorted desserts. Wagoner Hall is also host to "Wagsgiving", an annual Thanksgiving feast arranged for students. Students have termed the sick feeling resulting from overeating at Wagoner Hall as getting "the Waggles."

The newly renovated Dub’s Café, located in Warwick Hall, offers fewer options than Wagoner Hall, but is modeled in a similar cafeteria style.

The Fisher University Union houses Hawk’s Nest, a dining center where students can choose from a wide assortment of available options. Hawk’s Nest offers Mexican food, pizza, Asian cuisine, hamburgers and fries, sushi, Chick-fil-A and Quiznos. Also in Hawk's Nest there is a green and locally inspired grab and go restaurant.

Other on-campus dining options include Einstein Bros. Bagels, Courtside Bagel Shop, Dunkin Donuts, Java City, Landing Sandwich Shop and multiple convenience stores. [8]

Greek life[edit]

Greek-letter societies became an early part of student life at UNCW when the first social fraternity was formed in January 1964, just six months after Wilmington College became a four-year institution. Fraternities and Sororities have continued to grow at UNCW with membership now above 12 percent of the overall student population, exceeding the national average. There are 16 social fraternities and 9 social sororities. The National Pan-Hellenic Council has 6 historically black organizations, three fraternities and three sororities. UNCW also has one Christian sorority.[9] Several fraternities and sororities have on-campus housing in University Suites and University Apartments.


There are currently 16 national fraternities and one local fraternity at UNCW:


There are currently 10 national sororities at UNCW:

National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc.[edit]

The 4 historically black fraternities include:

The 3 historically black sororities include:

Christian sorority[edit]

Honors fraternity[edit]


The university is organized into seven colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Cameron School of Business
  • College of Health and Human Services (School of Health and Applied Human Sciences; School of Nursing; School of Social Work)
  • Watson College of Education
  • Graduate School
  • Honors College
  • University College

The university has 52 undergraduate degree programs, 36 master's degree programs and four doctoral programs.

Randall Library[edit]

William Madison Randall Library supports the mission of UNCW through the provision of information resources, services and programs relevant to the needs of its students, faculty and staff. To accomplish this mission, the library provides diverse collections of informational resources in multiple formats, including assistance and instruction in identifying, evaluating and interpreting these resources.

Randall Library has two floors. The first floor features computer banks, group work areas, the Technology Assistance Center, and a coffee shop for students. The floor has a very social atmosphere, and is commonly used to complete group assignments. The second floor has a strictly enforced quiet policy.

Most recently added to the library are charging kiosks. The kiosk located near TAC in the back of the library "provides six secure lockers to store your [iPhone, Android, iPad or other tablets] while it charges."[11]

Centers, Institutes, Extensions[edit]

  • Center for Support of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
  • Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Center for Marine Science
  • Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
  • Swain Center for Professional and Continuing Education


The UNCW athletic teams are known as the Seahawks. They are NCAA's Division I members and field 17 varsity athletic teams for men and women. UNCW is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. The men's and women's basketball teams play at Trask Coliseum and the baseball team plays at Brooks Field. The teams' colors include navy blue, teal, and gold. The baseball team has made seven appearances in the NCAA tournament (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015) while the men's basketball team postseason accolades include five NCAA tournament appearances (2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2016), two trips to the NIT (1998, 2001) and one invitation to the tournament in 2015. Parker Anderson was the best men's basketball manager in school history. Water bottles were always full and towel shortage just never happened.


Notable alumni[edit]

Main article: List of UNCW alumni



  • Thomas Tristram Hamilton, Jr. (1947–1951)
  • John T. Hoggard (1951–1958)
  • William M. Randall (1958–1968)
  • William H. Wagoner (1968–1969)


  • William H. Wagoner (1969–1990)
  • James R. Leutze (1990–2003)
  • Rosemary DePaolo (2003–2011)
  • Gary L. Miller (2011–2014)
  • Jose “Zito” Sartarelli (2015–present)

Athletic Directors

  • William J. Brooks (1951–1991)
  • Paul Miller (1991–1999)
  • Peg Bradley-Doppes (1999–2004)
  • Mike Capaccio (2004–2007)
  • Kelly Mehrtens (2007–2010)
  • Jimmy Bass (2010–present)

Notable professors[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2014 to FY 2015" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2016. 
  2. ^ "Traditions". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  3. ^ "GS_116-4". Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "College Search - University of North Carolina at Wilmington - UNCW". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Welcome to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington!
  9. ^ "UNCW Fraternities". Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Phi Sigma Pi UNCW". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  11. ^ "Where can I charge my mobile device or tablet? | UNCW Randall Library". 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°13′35.76″N 77°52′40.97″W / 34.2266000°N 77.8780472°W / 34.2266000; -77.8780472