It would be impossible to capture all the examples of heroism, kindness and compassion that have emerged since UNCW reopened after Hurricane Florence. These stories and images aim to shine a light on just a few of the remarkable ways in which our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends responded to the storm, many in the midst of their own personal losses. While those who lent a hand would likely not describe themselves as “heroes," it is our honor to recognize them for their heroic actions.

Thank you, Seahawk community!

UNCW Teams Coordinate Comprehensive Hurricane Readiness and Response Efforts

EOC leadersJust 12 days into the fall 2018 semester, the back-to-school momentum came to halt as Hurricane Florence lumbered toward Wilmington. Teams from across UNCW focused on making sure the campus was prepared for the most intense storm the university has ever faced. Read more below:

Faculty Senate Welfare Committee Lends a Hand

hurricane heart logoWhen she learned a fellow faculty member’s top-floor apartment was ruined by leaking rainwater, sociology and criminology professor Kimberly Cook and other members of the department jumped to help her salvage what belongings she could. {more...}

WATCH: Students Team Up to Give Back


After the storm, a group of students organized by sophomore Jordan Cooke ’21, executive member of Lambda Chi Alpha, and junior Nicolas Pianovich ’20, vice president of Alpha Sigma Phi, took applied learning to a new level when they volunteered to help salvage flood-damaged homes in the Wilmington area. {watch}

Paddling Persistence

Keith ChambleeThere’s determination, and then there’s Keith Chamblee. For four days following Hurricane Florence, UPD staff member Chamblee relied on a canoe to help get to work. {more...}

International Student Finds Shelter and Friendship

FavroInternational student Silvia Favro visited New York during the height of Hurricane Florence and returned to Wilmington with no place to go. But she wasn’t displaced for long. {more...}

Centro Hispano Enhances Community Outreach in Pender County

Centro students

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Edelmira Segovia and Cristóbal Montero immediately reached out to flooded mobile home communities in Pender County where many Hispanic and/or Spanish-speaking residents live. {more...}

Oasis of Hope

horses in floodwatersTwelve days after Hurricane Florence made landfall, accounting professor Susan Hermanson backed a trailer to the edge of the murky floodwater covering NC 53 near Burgaw and loaded four stranded horses aboard. {more...}

WATCH: Collaboration Across Campus Inspires University Leaders

HH-Video-thumbnails.pngThe challenges wrought by Hurricane Florence have prompted new levels of cooperation on a campus already known for its Seahawk spirit. That enhanced sense of togetherness has inspired Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli; Provost Marilyn Sheerer; Vice Chancellor Eddie Stuart, Division for University Advancement; and Rich Ogle, Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. {watch}

Students Reach Out

Student at diaper bank

Even as students were displaced and distressed, they still wanted to find ways to help. UNCW's Office of Student Leadership and Engagement organized a multitude of opportunities to make others' days just a little brighter. {more...}

Inspiration from One Seahawk to Another

Student at diaper bank

When Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Chair Paulo Almeida feels overwhelmed, he simply looks at a Post-it note for inspiration. Just a few weeks after Hurricane Florence, he found the note stuck to a table near the Student Recreation Center. The note, written by a campus dining employee: “Impossible is just an opinion.” {more...}

WATCH: Division of Athletics Helps Community Rebound from Florence

Student-athletesStudent-athletes, coaches and staff were quick to help the community bounce back from the devastating storm. {watch}

The Storm Riders

Storm RidersAs Hurricane Florence’s unrelenting rain and dangerous winds battered the UNCW campus, four men waited in Hoggard Hall for the first opportunity to begin the hard work of cleaning up. {more...}

WATCH: Bilingual Seahawks Create New Connections Between Campus, Hispanic Communities


A group of dedicated volunteers, guided by associate professor Amanda Boomershine from the Department of World Languages and Cultures, has spent weeks distributing nonperishable foods, cleaning supplies and clothing to 16 Hispanic communities near campus. {watch}

Engaging in Recovery Efforts

hurricane heart logoBecause of the university’s ongoing community partnerships, the Office of Community Engagement was able to compile resources and communications from a wide variety of reliable sources and make them available in one place. {more...}

Trained Well: UNCW Alumna Sets Up Post-Florence Field Hospital

Brittany OutlawJust days after Hurricane Florence trudged through North Carolina, Brittany Mobley Outlaw '07, '10M rose to the occasion when flooding due to hurricane conditions cut off access to area medical care. {more...}

Produced by the UNCW Office of University Relations