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

By Sue A. Hiatt [Sue Ann Cody]


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



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



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.



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.



The First Fledgling was published.



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



Baseball program established.



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.



The first homecoming festivities were held.


Straw Hat Theatre opened its first season.



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



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



Wilmington College became a four-year degree granting institution.


Brooks Field opened.



The first bachelor’s degrees were awarded.


The associate degree program in nursing was established.


Hanover Hall and Kenan Hall were opened.



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


The Chemistry-Physics Building was completed.




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.




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



The Institution for Marine Biomedical Research merged with UNCW.


The first Atlantis was published.


Galloway Dorm opened.



Student medical services were established.


The UNCW/ Community Orchestra was founded.



The United Christian Campus Ministry was founded.


The Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve was established.


The first annual Jesse Rehder Short Story Contest was held.



Marine Science Building was occupied.



The Good Wood Tavern opened.


Readers’ Theatre was established.




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.




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


Trask Coliseum was completed.


Elderhostel was offered for the first time on campus.



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.



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.



Master’s Degree Program in Marine Biology began.


Construction began for the new student union.


The first annual Seaside Jam was held.




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.




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.




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.