Monthly Chancellor's Message
Spring Commencement 2022

May 2022

Message from Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli

Dear Seahawk Community,


I cannot begin to describe the joy of celebrating our spring 2022 graduates during the commencement ceremonies in Trask Coliseum. Though I was sad that it was my last time presiding over the ceremonies as Chancellor, I am so proud of all this group of Seahawks withstood and accomplished during their academic journey. Please join me in applauding their perseverance and wishing them nothing but success in this next chapter of their lives. I also want to thank UNC President Peter Hans for delivering the keynote address at our ceremonies this spring.


Please also join me in welcoming Dr. Aswani Volety back to UNCW to serve as the university’s seventh chancellor following my retirement in June. A native of India, Dr. Volety is an accomplished marine scientist and experienced university leader. As the former dean of UNCW’s College of Arts and Sciences, former executive director of UNCW’s Center for Marine Science and current provost and vice president for academic affairs at Elon University, he is poised to lead this institution in all its future success. 


Speaking of success, on May 19 we broke ground on the Randall Library renovation and expansion project. It is quite significant to see the first phase of a long-term plan to ensure UNCW has the facilities in place to continue educating Seahawks far into the future come to fruition. We are very grateful to our legislators, the UNC System, the Board of Trustees and many other supporters for helping us advance this important project. 


Our student-athletes continue to impress on the fields and in the classroom. They finished the 2021-22 school year with a 3.39 cumulative grade point average and the UNCW softball team was crowned the 2022 Colonial Athletic Association Champions. Keep going strong, Seahawks!


While we had much to celebrate this month at UNCW, I would be remiss to not acknowledge the recent mass shootings that have taken lives and caused devastation across our nation. We mourn with the families and communities and condemn these senseless acts of violence.

Go Seahawks!

Jose V. Sartarelli


UNCW held four ceremonies during its one-hundred-and-second commencement exercises May 13 and 14 to graduate more than 2,750 students (2,079 undergraduate, 645 master’s and 26 doctoral). This multimedia page highlights some of the joys of the celebrations.


Student Housing Village

UNCW was recognized for its innovative Student Housing Village project by Student Housing Business Magazine. The housing village is this year's recipient of the Best New Development by a College, University or Institution Award.  


Morgan Jackson '96, Chancellor Sartarelli, BOT Chair Gidget Kidd '91 and Mrs. Sartarelli

Chancellor Sartarelli was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in recognition of his contributions to public service. The award is among the highest honors a North Carolina governor can confer.

Chancellor-Elect Aswani K. Volety

Dr. Aswani K. Volety will return to UNCW on July 1, 2022, as the institution's seventh Chancellor. Chancellor-Elect Volety previously served as the Dean of UNCW’s renowned College of Arts & Sciences and as the Executive Director of the Center for Marine Science.

Dr. Kent Guion

Dr. Kent Guion, professor of public health, will serve on the CHHS leadership team as the Leadership Fellow for Partner Engagement, Diversity and Health Equity.

UNC System CROs

The UNC System convened at UNCW for its quarterly Chief Research Officer meeting May 5-6. CROs lead research and innovation engines for all 16 UNC campuses.

CIE Interim Director Heather McWhorter (center) stands with a winning student and Thom Ruhe

UNCW hosted the 2022 YEPex Youth Summit and 7th annual Chancellor's High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. CIE Interim Director Heather McWhorter (center) stands with first-place winner Samin Bhan and Thom Ruhe, president and CEO of NC IDEA.

Randall Linrary groundbreaking

Gold shovels and teal sand marked the groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation and expansion of Randall Library on May 19. Pictured left to right: Provost James Winebrake, NC State Senator Michael Lee, Chancellor Sartarelli, Dean of the Library Lucy Holman, Board of Trustees Chair Gidget Kidd '91 and BOT member H. Carlton Fisher.

Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith

Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith, inclusion and diversity learning development specialist in the Office of Human Resources, is this year’s recipient of the UNCW Staff Award for Excellence.

Athletic training students

The first cohort from the Master of Science in Athletic Training program graduated May 14. Housed in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, the successful undergraduate program has grown to a robust graduate program.



Charmaine Cox

Class of 2022: Charmaine Cox, Social Work Major, Africana Studies Minor

Robert Fensom '22

Class of 2022: Robert Fensom, Philosophy and Communication Studies Major, English and Leadership Studies Minors

Logan Massengill

Class of 2022: Logan Massengill, Business Administration Major

Levi Mullis

Class of 2022: Levi Mullis, Tourism, Recreation and Sport Major

Dani Broman

Class of 2022: Dani Broman '20, Master of Science in Athletic Training

Chris Neal

Class of 2022: Chris Neal, Creative Writing Major

Rankings badge
UNCW Strategic Plan logo
Give Today logo

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR | UNC Wilmington | 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 910.962.3000