UNCW's first graduation ceremony awarded 14 associate's degrees on May 31, 1949. There were many more students who registered in 1946-1947. We do not know why so many students left, but it is possible that many transferred while others had work obligations. The college was founded in part to serve GI's returning from service during World War II.

Program for the first graduation

Oral history interview transcript, Mary D. Bellamy, professor and chair of the first graduation committee

College to hold first graduation, article in Seahawk student newspaper May 13, 1949

List of students registered at Wilmington College, 1946-1947