About UNCW

Image of Seahawk Sculpture and Hoggard Hall Lawn

“I am not the first to realize and I shall not be the last to point out that the graduates here today have, by their industry and intelligence, turned a dream into a reality.”
-- John T. Hoggard

Legendary Wilmington College President John T. Hoggard began his remarks at the institution’s first commencement ceremony in May 1949 with these heartfelt words. He reflected on the efforts by local leaders and citizens to establish a place of higher learning in Wilmington, recognizing their commitment to a project designed to enhance the quality of life in the region by offering “ambitious young men and women” the advantage of an excellent education.

In closing his remarks, Dr. Hoggard also set the tone, that very day, for the vision that has guided Wilmington College for the past 70 years. Looking forward, he said: “Perhaps it will now be appropriate to tell you that we are dreaming today of a finer and better equipped college…”

Over time, the dream that Dr. Hoggard and countless other founders and supporters first imagined has continued to become a reality. In 1969, Wilmington College joined the UNC System, becoming what is known today as the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In the decades since, UNCW has evolved into a nationally ranked university recognized for its commitment to excellence, student-centered learning experiences, diversity, innovation and community engagement.

Source: Dr. John Thomas Hoggard Private Papers, MS037, William M. Randall Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC.