Wise Alumni House

Our Mission

The mission of the UNCW Alumni Association is to be the lead supporter in the university's strategic vision. It is our purpose to connect and involve alumni, students, and friends in the promotion and advancement of the university.

The UNCW Alumni Association serves all Seahawks. There are no fees to be part of the association and to receive alumni benefits or participate in alumni chapters. These alumni groups host various events throughout the year which provide alumni with an opportunity to network and create new friendships with fellow Seahawks.

The association engages alumni in the life of the university and its students through regional, affinity, reunion, student and career-based programs. As we inform alumni of opportunities for campus connections, we welcome them to get involved as alumni event participants, volunteers, mentors, employers, and ambassadors; and we encourage them to remain invested in UNCW by giving back philanthropically.

About the Wise Alumni House

The Wise Alumni House is one of the four cornerstones of Wilmington's historic mansion district. The house was originally designed by renowned architect Burett H. Stevens to be the largest and most grand home in North Carolina for Delgado Cotton Mills' President Edwin Cameron Holt. The 7,484 square foot home was completed in 1909 and cost $11,000 to build. The house was later sold to heiress and philanthropist Jessie Kenan Wise in 1916. Miss Jessie lived there until her death at age 98 in 1968.

After her death, the home was deeded to the University of North Carolina Wilmington to further the charitable and education programs of the school. Lacking the funds to maintain the mansion, the home fell into disrepair until 1993, when the UNCW Alumni Association secured a $400,000 loan for a complete renovation. By May of the following year, the Alumni Association offices and headquarters were moved into the house. Through the hardwork and dedication of the alumni, staff, friends and community, the loan was repaid within four years. Today, the Wise Alumni House remains a beautiful and historic landmark, symbolizing the unity between the past, present and future of UNCW and the greater Wilmington community.