Legacy of Honor: Senior Medallion Award Renamed for Late Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard

Thursday, April 29, 2021

One of the most prestigious awards bestowed by the UNCW Division of Student Affairs now bears the name of the individual who helped make it one of the most esteemed divisions of student affairs in the country.

The Senior Medallion Award, given to approximately 25 graduating seniors each year who exemplify the Seahawk spirit, is now officially the Pat Leonard Senior Medallion Award.

Known to generations of students as “VCPL,” UNCW graduated 90 percent of its alumni during her 37-year tenure. She helped shape the campus landscape by planning and managing 20 major construction and green space projects and creating time-honored traditions such as Move-In and Teal Tuesday. In August 2020, a Seahawk statue she envisioned was installed outside of Pelican and Sandpiper Hall.

“The ‘Creating Experiences for Life’ mantra that Pat created and which has been the primary philosophy for developing our students persists, and is a testament to her amazing legacy,” said Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Michael Walker. “That we are now celebrating the students who receive this high honor while recognizing the woman who was the chief engineer for student engagement and leadership at UNCW for decades is a double positive. This is one way to help memorialize the outstanding impact that Pat Leonard had and continues to have on UNCW and its students.”

Medallion recipients must possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and have distinguished themselves among their peers through exceptional contributions of academic achievement, leadership and service to others.

For more on Leonard’s lasting legacy, visit “Remembering Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard.”

-- Caroline Cropp