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Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo presents a gift to Chris and Bert Abrons at the Abrons Student Health Center dedication. UNCW / Jamie Moncrief.

Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo joined Chris and Bert Abrons and guests to dedicate the Abrons Student Health Center on Tuesday, May 22, 2007. The Wilmington couple established a planned gift that will provide the university with $1.5 million.

Bert and Chris Abrons donated $100,000 to UNCW to fund premium payments on a $1.5 million life insurance policy. The UNCW Division of Student Affairs is the beneficiary of the policy.

Dr. Bert Abrons is a local physician in private practice who has worked at UNCW Student Health. His wife Chris (MALS 2005) and their daughter Rachel (BSW 2005) are UNCW alumni. 

Until 2011, DePaolo Hall was named Westside Hall. The building opened in 1970 and was extensively renovated in 2005.

For more about Abrons Student Health and DePaolo Hall:

For more about Planned Giving:


Click on thumbnail. UNCW / Jamie Moncrief.

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Although Trask Coliseum was constructed in 1978, it did not get air conditioning until 1983. State policy prohibited the use of state funds for air conditioning in sports coliseums. Private donations paid for the $385,000 project. Fundraisers included a chowder contest and a Hank Williams Jr., benefit concert.

The speaker for the 34th commencement program was distinguished educator Dr. Stephen J. Wright. He was the first African American commencement speaker at UNCW. Renowned artist and founder of the art department, Claude Howell, received the honorary doctorate.

Read more:

May 1983 commencement program

Article about air-conditioned commencement, 1983 UNCW Today alumni newspaper

Chancellor Wagoner honors donors to Trask air conditioning fund, Seahawk newspaper, Feb. 10, 1983

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Randall Library Special Collections and University Archives at the University of North Carolina Wilmington have recently digitized and made available yearbooks from the former James Walker Hospital School of Nursing in Wilmington, NC.

The yearbooks are from the collections of UNCW Randall Library and the Robert M. Fales Health Sciences Library of SEAHEC.

The James Walker Hospital School of Nursing was once one of the largest schools of nursing in the state. Founded in 1901, the James Walker Nursing School preceded the nursing degree program at UNCW. Faculty and students from James Walker came to Wilmington College (now UNCW) when the James Walker Hospital closed in 1966 and New Hanover Hospital opened.

This digital collection is available via the Internet Archive: James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Yearbooks.

How to View the Collection

  1. Open your web browser by clicking on this link: James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Yearbooks or by entering the following URL into your browser:
  2. Select the yearbook that you want to view from the reverse-chronological list by clicking on "Read Online" below the rotating image. You may then page through or search the title.
  3. To select another book, simply click on the back browser to go back to the list of James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Yearbooks.
  4. Other download options: download the PDF or download the e-book directly to a Kindle.
  5. If you lose your place in the Internet Archive, go to the Internet Archive main then enter James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in the white search box at the top of the page. Leave everything else as is and click Go! You will get a listing of all of the James Walker yearbooks. See below: 



This exciting project was made possible through the LYRASIS Digitization Collaborative – a Sloan Foundation grant-subsidized program that has made digitization easy and affordable for libraries and cultural institutions across the country.

Below: From The 1960 yearbook, the Epitome

Through the Collaborative’s partnership with the Internet Archive, all items were scanned from cover- to-cover and in full color.  You can choose from a variety of formats, page through a book choosing the “read online” option, download the PDF or search the full text version.

If you have any questions about this project and the works that have been digitized, please contact Adina Riggins (910.962.4233) or Jerry Parnell (910.962.3798).













Left: Cover of the 1949 yearbook, the Epitome

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William J. ("Bill") Brooks (1922-2010) is the first--and so far, the only--representative of UNCW in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Brooks retired in 1991 following a 40-year career at UNCW. He garnered many honors for his success as athletics director and coach. He is the namesake for Brooks Field.

Gwen Culbreth (Left) and Bill BrooksPhoto (right): Gwen Culbreth, Brooks. Undated photo.

Photo (below): William Randall, Brooks in 1960.

Read more:

"Brooks Inducted into NC Hall of Fame." Article in Campus Communiqe newsletter for UNCW faculty and staff, May 13, 1993

William M. Randall, William J. Brooks, 1960

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The Wise House and Kenan House on Market Street are UNCW-owned properties and gifts from the Kenan family. Mr. Kenan is part of UNCW pre-history, since the college did not open until 1947--the year after his first memoir was published.

Mr. Kenan resided in Lockport, New York during most of his adult life. He wrote a series of memoirs (entitled Incidents by the Way: Lifetime Recollections and Reflections). The last one was published in 1958. Mr. Kenan died in 1965.


Wiilliam R. Kenan in 1896, at age 24