Then, Now and Always: UNCW Homecoming to Celebrate Decades of Traditions

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

From its humble beginnings in 1947 with only 238 students to soaring to a current enrollment of nearly 17,500 students, UNCW has much to celebrate. Seahawks of all ages are invited to the annual homecoming celebration (Feb. 7-9) and revel in notable Seahawk moments of the past decades:

1969 - Wilmington College became the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

1979 - The university reorganized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration and the School of Education.

1983 - First air-conditioned commencement ceremonies are held in Trask Coliseum.

1990 - The first Midnite Madness was held.

2000 - The 50-foot clock tower on the Campus Commons was dedicated and sounded for the first time at the senior celebration on May 12.

2017-18 – The university celebrated its 70th anniversary year.

Online registration for signature alumni events ends on Sunday, Feb. 2 and includes, but is not limited to: TEALgate, the Alumni Champagne Brunch, the African American Graduate Association Luncheon, the Student Affairs Reunion and the Legacy Pinning Ceremony. For a full listing of events and to register, visit

During Homecoming, the Alumni Association will recognize three individuals for their outstanding achievements and service to the university and community. The 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees are:

  • Julie Andrews '13
    Distinguished Young Alumna of the Year

  • Mark Scalf '80
    Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

  • Ashlee Balena '95
    Distinguished Citizen of the Year

The UNCW Association for Campus Entertainment is hosting student spirit events throughout the week. Click here for more information on the events and to see photos and bios of the 2020 Homecoming Court.

-- Caroline Cropp