A blog from Special Collections and University Archives


Posted: September 24, 2013

First Issue of the Seahawk

Sixty-five years ago, on September 27, 1948, a group of college students published and distributed the inaugural edition of the Seahawk--a 4-page mimeographed newspaper. This was the first student publication for Wilmington College.

The charter staff members stressed the importance of the Seahawk as a current and future asset of Wilmington College:

“We are proud and honored to be able to have published this small paper as the first “SEAHAWK.” We are gratified to know that we have been the beginning of something which we believe will grow with time as Wilmington College grows. We have made a small beginning but nevertheless, have taken the first step.”

In 1969, Wilmington College became the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW).

The first Seahawk staff believed that the student newspaper would become an integral part of campus life with the continued support and excitement from the faculty and student body. In order to garner the support and participation of the student body, the Seahawk staff “extend[ed] to the student body an invitation to criticize [their] endeavors and to flail [their] paper as trash if they so desire[d]. But…also an invitation to contribute something useful or something better.” The vision and hopes of the initial Seahawk staff became a reality in 1958 when the Seahawk became a monthly publication.
 

The Seahawk, September 27, 1948 (PDF)

Digital Seahawk Collection, 1948-1973

How to Search the Seahawk

The Power of Print and Pixels: 65 Years of UNCW Student News - New Exhibit in Special Collections Open Until Dec. 3

 

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Posted: September 18, 2013

 

"USO service books index the military experience" reads the title of a recent article in the Jacksonville Daily Newspaper. The service books, less the current representations, mentioned in the article along with numerous photographs, publications, newspapers and various other forms material related to the the United Service Organization (USO) Jacksonville, are among the manuscript holdings in Randall Library's Special Collections. 

The service books include representation from every U.S. state and date back to the 1960s. Filled with thousands of intimate entries, these notebooks once served as main line of communication for troops to provide status updates during their service. The cardboard covers of older notebooks are often illustrated with doodles, city names, sports team insignia and state pride. The news article quotes Marisa Reeder, Jacksonville Center Assistant Director: 

"Having been to the University of North Carolina Wilmington to see the archives it just took my breath away. The decades-old service books transport readers to the past. The entries also help veterans track their fellow service members and allow them to leave a personal mark on the USO itself."

Special Collections received the archives of the USO Jacksonville center in 2011. The collection is being processed with the aid of UNCW Public History graduate assistants. For researchers interested in viewing the collection, please contact Special Collections staff.

 

Althouse, John. "USO service books index the military experience." Jacksonville Daily News 08 09 2013, n. pag. Web. 18 Sep. 2013. <http://www.jdnews.com/news/military/uso-service-books-index-the-military experience-1.199642?page=2>.

 

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Posted: September 18, 2013
President Randall with members of the Board of TrusteesJohn T. Hoggard, William M. Randall, Trustee L. Bradford Tillery, and unidentified College Trustee examine plans for new property. (Photo courtesy of Tyrone Rowell)
 

       On September 18, 1958, the Board of Trustees agreed to purchase land off NC Hwy 132 for Wilmington College's first campus. This campus became the permanent home for the college and eventually the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

The Board of Trustees had previously rejected two possible sites--Hugh MacRae Park and the municipal golf course--due to public controversy.

In 1958 Wilmington College was located in the Isaac Bear Building on Market Street. The Board of Trustees knew the college had outgrown this space and needed another location, but the board did not merely plan for immediate growth. Instead, the members chose a property that would fulfill future needs of expansion. The new property consisted of over 600 acres.

The ability of Wilmington College to purchase the land stemmed from the passage of the North Carolina House Bill 761, An Act to Provide a Plan of Organization and Operation for Community Colleges (1957). It was the first Community College Act in North Carolina. Both Wilmington College and Williston College--a unit of Wilmington College for African American students--were included by name in this act, as they were two-year schools at the time. The act gave the trustees the authority to purchase land deemed “necessary for the proper operation of the college.” It also allowed for the trustees to present the need for a tax levy to the County Commissioners, who would approve a public bond vote. The state would match funds raised by the college up to $600,000 as long as the request was made before June 30, 1958.

Following these guidelines, the Wilmington College Board of Trustees agreed in April 1958 to bring a resolution before the New Hanover County Commissioners. The County Commissioners approved the resolution unanimously and set the bond vote for May 30, 1958. The citizens of New Hanover County voted to support Wilmington College and the bond passed.

The Seahawk Newspaper

Board of Trustees Minutes--April 1, 1958, approved resolution to go before the County Commissioners

New Hanover County Commissioners Minutes--April 14, 1958, approval for the bond vote

Board of Trustees Minutes--September 9, 1958, approved the use of funds to buy land for expansion

Board of Trustees Minutes--September 18, 1958, selected the land on NC Hwy 132 for expansion site

Board of Trustees Minutes--September 22, 1958, approved architect and planned for future growth

Board of Trustees Minutes--December 8, 1958, final approval for the purchase of the land off NC Hwy 132

 

First Campus MapUnidentified College Trustee, Trustee L. Bradford Tillery, William M. Randall, and John T. Hoggard examine plans for new College property. (Photo courtesy of Tyrone Rowell)
 

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Posted: September 10, 2013
 
Photo of Judge Ernest Fullwood in 1992

51 years ago, Marshall Collins and Ernest Fullwood were the first African Americans to attend Wilmington College--the institution that grew into the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW).

Fullwood became the first African American student to serve on the Wilmington College Student Senate, and in March of 1966 he was the first African American graduate. Fullwood became an attorney and judge, and Marshall Collins became a minister. Fullwood returned to UNCW on April 17, 2004 to administer the Chancellor's oath of office to Rosemary DePaolo at her installation.

Until September of 1962, African American students attended class at the Williston College campus of Wilmington College. Due to segregation, African American students were not allowed to enroll at the College Road campus.

UNCW Desegregation  

On July 15, 1981, Dr. H. Eaton, chair of the Board of Trustees recalled a meeting he had with Dr. John T. Hoggard in 1961:

It has been 20 years and almost four months to the day since I sat in the parlor of Dr. John T. Hoggard, the Founder of this Institution, and expressed to him my disappointment and concern with the unfairness of the grossly unequal dual program of college education being provided for white students as compared to that being provided for Negro students  ....

A gentlemen’s agreement was reached. With a handshake and no paperwork, Dr. Eaton and Dr. Hoggard agreed that Dr. Eaton would not pursue legal action against the College, and in return Wilmington College would begin admitting qualified African American students in September of 1962 (From These Beginnings: Wilmington College, 1946-1969). 

From the University Archives--This Week in UNCW History: Dr. Eaton was first African American chair of UNCW Board of Trustees, July 15, 1981

1966 Wilmington College graduation program

Memo to the Media: Installation Activities April 14-16, 2004

 

Fledgling 1964Marshall Collins' picture, Wilmington College yearbook 1964

 

 

 

Fledgling 1964Ernest Fullwood's picture, Wilmington College yearbook 1964

 

 

 

Fledgling 1965Ernest Fullwood on Student Senate, Wilmington College yearbook 1965

 

 

 

 

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