Dr. Donald R. WatsonDonald R. Watson Biography


On April 12, 1994, the School of Education at The University of North Carolina at Wilmington was named in memory of Donald R. Watson. A noted Wilmington businessman and community leader, Donald R. Watson believed that the future of the Cape Fear region was tied to the quality of education provided to our children. He acted on this belief by providing generous gifts of his time and financial resources to The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, particularly the School of Education.

Mr. Watson was born in Kenly, N.C., fought on Okinawa as a Marine Corps corporal during World War II and studied accounting at Elon College. In 1967, he purchased Pepsi of Wilmington and nine years later he and his business partner, Carl Brown, formed Carolina Bottlers which was later changed to Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. of Wilmington. The company was sold to PepsiCo Inc. in 1988.

In 1993 and 1994, he made significant financial contributions to UNCW to advance the teaching profession and public education. In recognition of his generosity and commitment to education as the foundation of a quality life, the University dedicated the Donald R. Watson College of Education to perpetuate his vision.