Department of History

Celebration of Life in memory of Dr. William "Bill" McCarthy


Friday, September 22, 3:30 pm

Wrightsville Beach Room, Fisher Student Center


Please join us in honoring the memory of Dr. William McCarthy, Associate Professor of History. The memorial will take place in the Wrightsville Beach Room on Friday, September 22 at 3:30 pm. Friends and colleagues will share memories of their time with Bill, and music will be provided by Nancy King, Department of Music.

A reception will follow at 4:00 pm in the Clocktower Lounge. 

Dear Community:


Dr. William "Bill" McCarthy, who has been a beloved part of the Seahawk family for nearly 33 years, passed away in May 2017. 


While Bill had been battling illness for some time and had gone on leave during the spring 2017 semester, the loss still feels like a sudden one to anyone who knew him - and to know him was to love him, as evidenced by the tributes that have poured since his passing from former and current students and colleagues as well his giant circle of friends and family around the country and the world.


Bill forged so many deep connections across our campus, personally and professionally. He served in a variety of functions at UNCW: associate professor in History, the department's undergraduate and graduate coordinator, and the interim head of the LGBT Center during the fall of 2015. But beyond those titles, for countless people on our campus and beyond, he served as a mentor, advocate, collaborator, and, particularly over the past several months, an inspiration.


You'll note the use of the present tense above when referring to how long Bill has been a Seahawk. Aside from the fact that his departure feels too fresh a wound to consider permanent, we believe Bill will live on through his legacy of wit, intellect, compassion, courage, and a spirit of adventure and exploration. We will remain profoundly affected by this loss, but forever grateful for the time we had with Bill, his impact on our community, and his impact on all who knew (and, indeed, loved) him.

McCarthy student