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How did Wilmington College become UNCW?

Merton Vance

The school began in 1946 as a college center run as an extension program by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1948, it became Wilmington College and was initially a junior college, holding its first classes in Isaac Bear Hall.

In 1958, New Hanover County turned administration of the school over to the state under the Community College Act.

On July 1, 1963, following an act of the General Assembly, Wilmington College became a four-year college and began offering bachelor degrees.

After a vote of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina in 1968 and approval by the General Assembly in 1969, Wilmington [Map this] College officially became the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on July 1, 1969.

More information is on the UNCW website: uncw.edu/facts/history.html

User-contributed question by:
Bill Mathias

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One Response to “ How did Wilmington College become UNCW?”

  1. On January 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm Neil Worden wrote:

    In the mid 1960s East Carolina was making a big push to be changed from East Carolina College to East Carolina University. This was debated statewide and with much controversy in the state legislature. It was Sen. John Henley from Cumberland Co. who proposed the university system with all the state supported colleges becoming a part of the UNC system. This was accepted by the state legislature and led to the regional university system we have today.

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