UNCW Vice Chancellor Mary M. Gornto Receives "Order of the Long Leaf Pine"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Mary M. Gornto has received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the University of North Carolina Wilmington announced today.

"No one deserves the Order of the Long Leaf Pine more than Mary Gornto," Chancellor Gary L. Miller said. "She has spent more than 40 years actively involved in civic service in our community. Mary's professional dedication to local government and higher education and her personal commitments to the arts, historic places and comprehensive cancer care have enhanced the quality of life across Southeastern North Carolina."

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is one of the highest honors the governor of North Carolina can bestow on a citizen. The order recognizes recipients with proven records of service to the state or other special achievements. Past recipients include poet Maya Angelou, actor Andy Griffith, the Rev. Billy Graham, TV star Oprah Winfrey, and basketball great Michael Jordan.

"I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the Order of the Long Leaf Pine," Gornto said. "I share the recognition with many colleagues, mentors and friends who enriched my life and work with UNCW, the city, the county and our community. This area is my home, and I am very grateful for the opportunities I've had to make a difference here."

Gornto, a Wilmington native, has led the university's philanthropy efforts since 2002. Under her leadership, UNCW completed the largest fundraising campaign in its history, raising more than $66 million dollars to support endowed scholarships, distinguished professorships and many university initiatives. She had previously served as Wilmington city manager, deputy county manager for New Hanover County and as executive director of the Downtown Area Revitalization Effort, Inc. (DARE).