Campus Life

Traditions: Get Involved!

Fall Traditions

(Monday prior to the first day of fall classes)
Convocation is UNCW’s official academic welcome for all new students – first-year and transfer. During Convocation small-group meetings, faculty members welcome students and offer their perspectives on academic success. After the small-group meetings, first-year students then proceed to the clock tower for the unveiling of the class flag and do a class photo…then embark on their first Trask Trek for the actual Convocation ceremony Immediately following the ceremony, students enjoy a campus-wide picnic on historic Hoggard Lawn.

Beach Blast
(day prior to first day of fall classes)
Who else but UNCW welcomes back its student in style by hosting a day at the beach?  Each fall semester on the day before classes start, the Seahawks head to the beach for a day of fun in the sun, seeing old friends and making new ones.  Over 4,000 students attend each year as this is one of our largest campus traditions!

Involvement Carnival
This event highlights student involvement opportunities at UNCW and in the greater Wilmington community. Local business, religious organizations and community service agencies are incorporated in this event. This is a great opportunity for students to get connected and involved. Each year, the Involvement Carnival is held on the Wednesday during the first full week of classes with the rain date being the following week, if needed. Over 6,000 students attend this event each year as a way to start out their annual engagement journey.
Fan Jam and Midnite Madness
This annual tradition starts off on Hoggard Lawn with games, food, and fun activities.  After the Fam Jam, students head over to Trask Coliseum for the official start to the basketball season!  Midnite Madness is a chance for students, faculty, staff and the community to preview the talent of the team and team members. There is a variety of performances including the UNCW dance team, three-point and dunk contest, player introductions, team scrimmages, and more!
Late Nite on the Lawn
Everyone knows college students can stay up late, so why should the Seahawks be any exception to that?  We do something at UNCW to provide a great environment for our students which gives them a chance to camp out for a night on our historic Hoggard Lawn.  During the sleepover on the lawn, we have movies, glow sticks, games, food, and in the morning we have sunrise yoga.
Everyone loves a good Thanksgiving meal, right?  We know that food is the way to make most college students happy so our Aramark dining department goes all out with a full Thanksgiving meal in November before students head off for Thanksgiving Break.  Students line up throughout Chancellor’s Walk ready to tackle the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, other fixings, and pumpkin pie.  Students will tell anyone this is the best meal they have on campus every year!

Spring Traditions

Homecoming Week
(January – February)
ACE (Association for Campus Entertainment) is back at it again with their annual Homecoming.  The week of programs in the spring semester features a themed week of events leading up to the Homecoming Basketball Game. Some of the past programs during Homecoming include: Late Night Breakfast, Battle of the Bands, and a Teal Gate.  Throughout the week, ACE coordinates the Homecoming Court nomination and selection processes leading up to the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen.
Late Night Breakfast
(during Homecoming)
An amazing program taking place during Homecoming is the annual Late Nite Breakfast.  Breakfast is served by university administrators in Wagoner Dining Hall and the event starts around 10 p.m.  But breakfast is not the only thing on the menu…there is also the annual lip-sync battle where students can get on stage and jam out to a current or old childhood favorite. 
Battle of the Bands
(during Homecoming)
During Homecoming, another tradition is BoB (Battle of the Bands), where students bands compete against one another to be the judges and crowd favorite.  The winner band gets the chance to perform as an opening act for ACE’s Big Spring Concert.
What’s better than going to see a free movie for the afternoon?  24-hours of free movies…right in a row!  ACE (Association for Campus Entertainment) puts together a themed series of movies where students can come and go as they please and stay for one, two, or all of the movies.  Each movie selected is a throw-back with each selections being at least 10-years old.  The event begins at noon on a Saturday and ends on noon the following day.  There is free food and rest breaks between the movies to satisfy students’ needs.  For those brave enough to stay the whole time, they get a free Hawk-In T-shirt.
One of our biggest and longest running student organization traditions organized by the Student Ambassadors is Oozeball.  Think of it a huge pit of mud with dozens of teams in a single-elimination, regulation mud-volleyball tournament. Nearly 1,000 students play each year.  No one escapes without getting fully immersed in mud, laughing the entire time!
To wrap up the academic year, ACE (Association for Campus Entertainment), ends things in style.  Festapalooza takes place on the last day of classes in the spring semester as a way to say goodbye to another academic year.  The events features free food, inflatables, music, and great times just before students head into their finals.  This events gathers hundreds of students as they prepare for the summer.