Office of the Chancellor

Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli with portrait


August 31, 2020

Dear Seahawk Community,

When our fall semester begins each August, I look forward to meeting our newest students, talking with returning Seahawks, and reconnecting with faculty and staff. Those interactions took on extra meaning this year as we continue to adapt to the challenges caused by the pandemic. We held a virtual convocation; shifted welcome events online; and focused on helping our students navigate collegiate life in these uncertain times. 

I joined our great Student Affairs staff at many meetings with residential students, where we emphasized their critical role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community. We also reached out to all students, both on campus and off, to clearly convey the university’s expectations of them when it comes to following health and safety guidelines. Most of our Seahawks are taking their responsibility very seriously; a few are not, and, unfortunately, we have seen an increase in cases on our campus since classes began. I encourage you to visit our data dashboard, updated daily, for a transparent and consistent overview.

UNCW researchers are exploring how the pandemic is affecting public health, communities, businesses and beyond. In addition to the few we highlighted in the recent issue of UNCW Magazine, I also offer kudos to Larry Cahoon, a biological oceanographer; virologist Art Frampton; Ryan Rhodes, microbiologist from the Department of Biology and Marine Biology; and graduate student Jacob Kazenelson for their work on coronavirus research.

None of us can know, of course, how the semester will continue to unfold, but our university community is strong and resilient. We will adapt as needed to protect and preserve the health and safety of our campus and community, and we will continue to support excellence in academics and research, engagement on campus and in the community, and the can-do attitude that defines UNCW. 

Last week, we had a special opportunity to celebrate the Seahawk spirit that unites all of us when a new statue by local artist Dumay Gorham was installed on campus near the two recently completed residence halls. Thanks to the vision of the late Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Pat Leonard, this new piece of artwork is connected by tradition to the iconic Seahawk statue in front of Hoggard Hall.

As we move further into the fall, I wish all of you good health, and I ask for your ongoing patience as conditions on our campus, in our community, and across the state and nation continue to evolve.

Sincerely yours,


Jose V. Sartarelli


Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403-5931
Tel 910.962.3030
Fax 910.962.4050