Claire Stanley

February 16, 2022

For recent UNCW retiree Claire Stanley, the highlight of her nearly 20-year career at UNCW was the opportunity to work with so many amazing people.

“No matter the goals that are set, everyone brings their expertise and experiences to the table to make the outcome the best it can be for our students and faculty, which always is the ultimate goal,” she said.

Recruited to UNCW by Mary Gornto, former Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Stanley enjoyed being able to grow from director of special events into the duties she was responsible for as assistant vice chancellor for development operations. She also was involved in the formal installation events for the past three chancellors and, as much as Stanley enjoyed those special events, she is looking forward to new experiences.

Post-retirement, Stanley and her husband are going to continue to call Wilmington home. He is in the marina business and they both love the water. She’s looking forward to boating and socializing and having the benefit of visiting family or taking a trip on the spur of the moment.

She’s also going to develop plans for a new business, one that keeps her engaged with others as she “will always want to interact with people.”

Stanley’s job at UNCW evolved over the years. In addition to working with every chancellor since James Leutze, she worked in almost every area of University Advancement – fundraising, events and boards, stewardship and donor relations, alumni, advancement services, communications, budget, human resources and with the student ambassadors.

The biggest challenges of her career were weather-related (hurricanes) and their aftermath and the pandemic. Her advice for future Seahawks for weathering the storms and challenges that will inevitably come is to recognize “UNCW is a special place – give more than you receive; show grace to those with whom you work and enjoy the people; be willing to take on new responsibilities when offered – or better yet, volunteer when a need arises; take advantage of training that is offered in order to grow and learn more about the university, and get outside your daily bubble and learn as much as possible.”

A loyal donor, Stanley is a charter member of the UNCW Clocktower Society and served as the staff liaison to the Friends of UNCW.

-- Caroline Cropp