UNCW Prepares to Welcome Back Seahawks

Monthly Chancellor's Message
Photo of the quad that includes the Teaching Lab (back left), McNeill Hall (back right) and the newly completed Veterans Hall (foreground). Photo was taken by a drone on the side that faces Walton Drive. Chancellor's Walk runs through the quad and beyond toward the Clock Tower.

July 2020

Message from Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli

Dear Seahawk Community, 

July is always a busy month at UNCW as we prepare campus for our students’ return in August. This year, our efforts have taken on a new level of complexity as we implemented comprehensive health and safety measures and adjusted academic and programmatic schedules to reopen campus amidst the challenges caused by the pandemic. Please visit UNCW’s “Best for the Nest” website and guide (PDF) for more information about our plans for returning to campus. 

Kudos to the collaborative team of UNCW faculty researchers awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to support summer undergraduate research opportunities for students interested in the marine sciences. Our faculty’s commitment to applied learning is one of many reasons why the prestigious Fiske Guide to Colleges included UNCW in its annual guide again this year.

Earlier this month, the UNCW Board of Trustees elected officers for the next year. Congratulations to Chair Henry L. (Hal) Kitchin Jr.Vice Chair Gidget Kidd ’91, and Secretary Henry “Hank” Miller III 85. We also welcomed Dr. Donyell Roseboro, Watson College of Education professor, to a new role as UNCW’s Interim Chief Diversity OfficerShe replaces Dr. Kent Guion, who decided to join our College of Health and Human Services faculty after five years of success leading the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. 

In closing, as we now know, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office reported that Professor Mike Adams ended his own life on July 23. This sad turn of events has caused tremendous pain for his family and friends, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to them. 

It’s important to recognize, especially during the difficult times caused by COVID-19, that mental health challenges are on the rise. Many people are dealing with issues, whether they demonstrate it outwardly or not, and our entire community – students, faculty and staff – should remember the resources that are available to you, someone close to you, or someone you barely know. Students can call the University Counseling Center (910.962.3746)faculty and staff can seek support through the Employee Assistance Program. Help also is available 24/7 from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Please remember to take care of yourself and one another. If you are struggling or know someone who is, please seek help. 

As we prepare for the return to campus for the new academic year, and the uncharted territory we face together, I ask that we reflect on how we treat one another as members of the Seahawk family. Let us continue forward into the fall with a renewed commitment to treat each other with dignity and respect.


Jose V. Sartarelli


Top photo: With just a few days remaining until the 2020-21 academic year begins, Veterans Hall (foreground) has been completed and is being readied for the fall semester. The building will house programs from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services, as well as resources for military-affiliated students.


Photo of the seahawk at the front of campus, amid a colorful bed of flowers and a blue-sky background. Text overlay: "Best for the Nest: A Guide for Returning to Campus."

To prepare students, faculty and staff for the return to campus with new measures in place to protect their health and safety, UNCW developed the "Best for the Nest: A Guide for Returning to Campus" website and PDF.

Zoom meeting screen with various representatives of the accountability committee, including Chancellor Sartarelli (third row, far right) and Provost James J. Winebrake (bottom, left).

The Chancellor’s Renewal and Change Accountability Committee, which met for the first time July 28, was established to help create a more diverse and inclusive campus at UNCW. As part of the effort, Chancellor Sartarelli announced and contributed personally to an initiative to raise $1 million for additional diversity scholarships.

A student, shown from behind, reads the temperature of a student facing the camera, while others wait in line, socially distanced. All are wearing face coverings.

Orientation leaders practiced safe distancing and took health and safety precautions as they prepared for this summer's virtual student orientation. The leaders met online with new students to answer questions, help students make peer connections, and provide information about UNCW and campus life.

A Zoom meeting. CTE/CFL Associate Director Matthew TenHuisen is pictured in the large frame. Other participants are seen in the smaller frames at the top.

The UNCW Centers for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Leadership and the Office of Distance Education and eLearning presented ADAPT 2020, a four-day, Zoom-based program to help instructors plan new approaches to fall courses in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Total participation in the 23 sessions was more than 1,200.

Aerial view of the Kenan Auditorium with dozens of cars parked there, and a freestanding movie screen at the side of the building.

The spirit of the old-fashioned drive-in movie is alive at UNCW with Curbside Cinema, a weekly event that continues Fridays in August. Bring your own popcorn and snacks.


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