We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Laura Lunsford

August 23, 2016

Having just relocated from Arizona, North Carolina native and new Swain Center director Laura Lunsford is seeing green…in a good way.

“Arizona was beautiful, but I missed how green it is here and how tall the trees are. I start my day on our porch having a cup of cappuccino with my husband and we admire all the green grass,” she said.

In addition to being back in her home state, Lunsford is excited at the opportunity to build on the strong foundation of the Swain Center and the Cameron School of Business to build the Executive Education program into the best in the state.

She looks forward to meeting as many people in the community as possible and working with the center’s advisory board, faculty members and students.

Lunsford is the first in her family to complete college. For her career path and successes, she credits “a wonderful and eclectic set of experiences” that began living in the nation’s first residential school for academically gifted high school students in the United States.

After earning her bachelor’s from N.C. State University and a master’s from UNC Greensboro, she served as the alumni relations director at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and was the first full-time director for the Park Scholarships, one of America's premier undergraduate scholarship programs.

For the last eight years, she was a psychology professor at the University of Arizona where she studied mentoring and leadership.

“Living near the border let me experience cultural differences in a new way and learn more about being inclusive,” she said. “All of these experiences will help me craft a shared vision for the Swain Center and work with the variety of audiences needed to make it all work well.”

Outside of work, Lunsford enjoys wandering through her Japanese Garden, cycling, swimming and kayaking. It’s not “all green” for Lunsford though, as she also holds a black belt in Shotokan Karate.

--Caroline Cropp