2020: A Challenging Journey, Resilient Seahawks

Monthly Chancellor's Message
Teal-tinted picture of the clock tower at the right, confetti on navy blue background to the left with text: Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

December 2020

Message from Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli

Dear Seahawk Community,

Commencement always is a celebration at UNCW, but our first-ever virtual ceremonies in honor of the Class of 2020 were especially meaningful. This amazing group of graduates has redefined the Seahawk spirit, joining our outstanding faculty and staff in elevating resilience to new heights. Congratulations, Class of 2020!

It is tempting, this time of year, to reflect on how far we have traveled together as a campus community in the past 12 months. In all honesty, though, each one of us needs some time to process the trials and triumphs of 2020, a year that surely none of us will forget anytime soon.

We learned how to teach, learn, connect, engage and evolve in a dramatically different environment that seemingly changed overnight. And yet, we kept going. We kept researching, discovering and creating. We kept leading, inspiring and serving. We honored our mission and helped our largest-ever student body keep soaring.

Thank you for being a part of UNCW’s journey this year. As difficult as it was, our collaborative efforts in 2020 prepared us to tackle the challenges ahead as we face a third semester shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. A new year is on the horizon, one filled with renewed hope and opportunity, and we are ready for it.

Go Seahawks!

Jose V. Sartarelli



Teal background with white snowflakes. Text: Season's Greetings from Chancellor Sartarelli

WATCH: Chancellor Sartarelli offers a holiday message to UNCW students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends of the university in this video.

Pictured onstage (socially distanced) during Commencement 2020are Provost James J. Winebrake; Pietro Brucia'21, senior class president; UNCW Board of Trustees Chairman Henry L. Kitchin Jr.; and Chancellor Sartarelli.

Commencement had a different look and feel as speakers praised the persistence and commitment to excellence of the Class of 2020. Pictured onstage (socially distanced) are Provost James J. Winebrake; Senior Class President Pietro Brucia '21; UNCW Board of Trustees Chair Henry L. Kitchin Jr.; and Chancellor Sartarelli.

Huge icebergs floating in the Southern Ocean.

A study by postdoctoral research fellow Mark England and Till Wagner, assistant professor of physics and physical oceanography, on the impact of Antarctic icebergs on climate was published in the journal Science Advances.

Luminaria along Chancellor's Walk at dusk.

Luminaria lit up Chancellor's Walk in honor of UNCW's newest alumni, our 2020 graduates. The UNCW Alumni Association sponsored the display.



Ryley Hopper, seated, poses in front of the soaring Seahawk.
Isabella Galletto '20, close-up head shot, with foliage in the background.
Nick Pianovich stands in front of the spirit rock, painted teal with a Seahawk emblem.
KeAndre Yeoman, in a track suit, running while grabbing a baton from another runner.
Megan Schwartz, close-up portrait with foliage in the background.
Brandon Yates leans agains the rail of a foot bridge with foliage in the background.


Soaring seahawk in front of a snow-covered Hoggard lawn, with Hoggard Hall in the background. Text: Happy Holidays.
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OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR | UNC Wilmington | 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 910.962.3000