UNCW Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard Receives William C. Friday Lifetime Achievement Award

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

UNCW Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Pat Leonard is this year’s recipient of the prestigious William C. Friday Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award, presented by the University of North Carolina Association of Student Governments, is given to individuals who have exhibited exemplary service to students of a UNC System institution. The association presented the award April 12 at North Carolina Central University in Durham.

"I am humbled and honored to receive this award," said Leonard. "William C. Friday was an esteemed leader and educator whom I always admired. It is a privilege to be a part of the UNC system to which he devoted his life. I have been fortunate to receive many recognitions during my forty years in higher education, but this award, this Lifetime Achievement Award, tops the list. To have our students of our sixteen campuses, the very group we are here to serve, recognize my work and commitment is the greatest honor.” 

The lifetime achievement award was established in 2010 and is named for William “Bill” Friday, the first and longest-serving president of the consolidated UNC System, and a pivotal figure in public education in North Carolina. UNCW Student Body President Cole Tillett nominated Leonard for the award.

“Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard is greatly revered, respected and loved by the entire Seahawk family because of everything she has done for UNCW throughout her extensive service,” said Tillett. “She has profoundly impacted my life and thousands of others, and UNCW SGA firmly stands behind our recommendation of her for the William C. Friday Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Leonard first joined UNCW in July 1983 as the associate dean of students after holding posts at UNC Charlotte and Miami University of Ohio. Under her leadership, she has overseen the renovation and construction of more than 20 campus facilities and grounds projects, including the new multi-million dollar student housing complex that is currently under construction. During Hurricane Florence, Leonard and her team were instrumental in facilitating recovery efforts. She was recently appointed by the NC Governor to serve on the North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council.

In 2013, she received the John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Student Affairs Officer. The award is given annually by the NASPA Foundation, the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.

-- Venita Jenkins

Pat Leonard
Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard holds her William C. Friday
Lifetime Achievement Award.
Pat Leonard and students
Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard stands with Cole Tillett (third from right),
UNCW Student Body President and other Seahawks following the award ceremony.