Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

Family Establishes Endowment in Honor of Marshall C. Mansolillo III

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

The Watson College and the UNCW Division of University Advancement are pleased to announce the Marshall C. Mansolillo III Support Fund for Education created by Tracey and Marshall Mansolillo in memory of their son, Marshall, a 2004 graduate of the Watson College of Education. The fund will help to advance the mission of the Watson College and honor Marshall’s spirit and passion for teaching, specifically in support of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

A study lounge on the second floor of the Education Building has been named the “Marshall C. Mansolillo III Lounge” in recognition of this gift.

Watson College Dean Van Dempsey, Vice-Chancellor Eddie Stuart and WCE Director of Development Dawn Carter welcomed Marshall and Tracey Mansolillo, their daughter Meredith van Rensburg and friends and family to the Watson College for a memorial dedication earlier this year.

Meredith van Rensburg recently shared what it meant to the Mansolillo family to honor her brother in this way.

“Marshall Charles Mansolillo III was our beloved son and brother. After his passing in January of 2019, the family chose to honor his memory by dedicating a study lounge in Watson College of Education; UNCW was a meaningful place for Marshall where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. He went on to become a teacher in Wilmington where he taught 3rd and 5th grades at Bellamy Elementary and Wrightsboro Elementary Schools. Marshall was an avid sports fan and had a particular interest in helping at-risk kids. Most recently, he lived in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was involved with outreach programs as a job counselor/coach for students who dropped out of school. His students loved him! He not only worked to guide them towards a better future, but also advocated on their behalf when they weren't treated fairly. Before he died, he returned to school to study Juvenile Justice and planned to make a career of helping kids facing similar challenges. More importantly than the lounge, my family has chosen to set up an endowment in his name that will help support the partnership between the Watson College of Education and organizations like D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy that provide opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We truly believe that Marshall would have been honored to have his name associated with this endeavor; it aligns with his hopes in helping the underdog and advancing equitable opportunities for deserving children.”

“The fund established by the Mansolillo family in Marshall’s memory honors and reflects the essence of why Marshall is an admired part of the Watson College,” said Dean Van Dempsey. “The lounge area named in his memory is a place for current and future students to study, rest, and relax. Marshall was an educator, a guide and mentor for children facing life challenges, and an advocate for doing right by children. The support provided by the Mansolillo family will create opportunities for children in Watson College programs to learn in settings where they may have otherwise not had the chance. We are honored to be able to embrace his memory, and to share with his family in the power of his legacy.”