Highlights of Our History: Wilmington College, Williston College and the University of North Carolina Wilmington

By Sue A. Hiatt [Sue Ann Cody]

1946

The Extension Division of the University of North Carolina formed a college center in Wilmington, offering freshman level courses to approximately 250 students.

 

1947

The New Hanover County Commissioners called for a referendum on a bond issue to support a permanent college. The measure passed in March.

 

1948

Wilmington Junior College moved into the Isaac Bear Building, which stood across Market Street from New Hanover High School.

 

The Seahawk newspaper was first published in September.

 

1949

Dr. John T. Hoggard, chairman of the New Hanover Board of Education, became the second president of the college.

 

The first graduation ceremony was held on May 29. Fourteen students graduated.

 

1950

The First Fledgling was published.

 

1955

Williston Unit for black students was discontinued by Fayetteville State College and became a unit of Wilmington College.

 

1957

Baseball program established.

 

1958

Dr. Hoggard retired as president and became chairman of the Board of Trustees.

 

Dr. William Madison Randall became president of the college.

 

Control of the college was transferred to the State Board of Higher Education. State funds were appropriated to support the institution under the Community College Act.

 

1959

The first homecoming festivities were held.

 

Straw Hat Theatre opened its first season.

 

1961

Wilmington College moved to the present campus, occupying the Edwin A. Alderman Administration Building, Hoggard Hall, and the Hinton James Student Services Building.

 

1962

Marshall Collins and Ernest Fullwood were the first black students to enroll at Wilmington College (not the Williston Unit of the college).

 

1963

Wilmington College became a four-year degree granting institution.

 

Brooks Field opened.

 

1965

The first bachelor’s degrees were awarded.

 

The associate degree program in nursing was established.

 

Hanover Hall and Kenan Hall were opened.

 

1968

Kenan House was deeded to the college by James G. Kenan.

 

The Chemistry-Physics Building was completed.

 

 

1969

Wilmington College became the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

 

Dr. William H. Wagoner was inaugurated as the first chancellor of the university.

 

The William Madison Randall Library opened.

 

 

1970

Sarah Graham Kenan Memorial Auditorium, Arnold Kimsey King Hall, and the Cafeteria were completed.

 

1971

The Institution for Marine Biomedical Research merged with UNCW.

 

The first Atlantis was published.

 

Galloway Dorm opened.

 

1972

Student medical services were established.

 

The UNCW/ Community Orchestra was founded.

 

1973

The United Christian Campus Ministry was founded.

 

The Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve was established.

 

The first annual Jesse Rehder Short Story Contest was held.

 

1974

Marine Science Building was occupied.

 

1975

The Good Wood Tavern opened.

 

Readers’ Theatre was established.

 

 

1976

Belk Residence Hall was occupied.

 

The University Greenhouse was completed.

 

The first issue of FORAM (now the Journal of Undergraduate Research in the Sciences: FORAM) was published.

 

 

1977

The first woman SGA President was elected. She was Karen Whaley.

 

Trask Coliseum was completed.

 

Elderhostel was offered for the first time on campus.

 

1978

The Master’s Degree Program in Education began.

 

Morton Hall and Hewlett Residence Hall was completed.

 

The Shannon Morton Essay Contest was established.

 

The first Career Day was offered.

 

1979

University reorganization established the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, and School of Education, each with its own dean.

 

Dorm ’79 was completed.

 

The first annual “Walk-In Messiah” performance was held.

 

1980

Master’s Degree Program in Marine Biology began.

 

Construction began for the new student union.

 

The first annual Seaside Jam was held.

 

 

1981

Dr. Hubert Eaton was elected the first black chairman of the UNCW Board of Trustees.

 

SURF (Southeastern Undersea Research Facility) was established.

 

The ROTC Program was founded.

 

The Cape Fear Garden Club granted $8000 to UNCW for grounds beautification.

 

 

1982

The Master’s of Business Administration Degree Program began.

 

The Social and Behavioral Sciences Building opened.

 

The Research Vessel Seahawk was christened.

 

The Office of Research Administration was established to coordinate and promote faculty research projects.

 

The Good Wood Tavern closed.

 

The Office of Special Programs sponsored its first computer camp for children.

 

 

1983

The School of Business Administration received a $500,000 endowment from the Cameron family and was renamed the Cameron School of Business Administration.

 

The Office of Minority Affairs was established.