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When did they change the school colors at UNCW?

Ben Steelman

UNCW logo
UNCW’s colors are represented in its Seahawk logo.

The latest colors were officially adopted by the UNCW SAtudent Government Association in 2009. The changeover was actually a little more evolutionary, according to Dana Fischetti, media relations manager for the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

The basic facts are these:

The original UNCW colors, green and gold, were chosen in 1947, almost as soon as the former junior college was founded as Wilmington College. (North Carolina’s General Assembly promoted it to university status in 1969).

The new school held a contest among the student body to pick its official colors, with a $5 prize for the winning entry. The winner was Ludie Croom, who suggested green for the Atlantic Ocean, gold for the sandy beaches. (Given UNCW’s future emphasis on marine science, it was a wise choice.)

Now, when did these change? According to the UNCW website, the navy blue accent was added in 1992, at the suggestion of UNCW Athletic Director Paul Miller. The official reason was, so many of the other teams that the UNCW Seahawks were playing had virtually identical color schemes. The blue was meant to provide contrast.

 Gold wasn’t abolished; you can still see it in the university’s “Seahawk Spirit”  logo. featuring the stylized seahawk in profile. Since about 1995, though, it has been softened to a light yellow, just as the original green has “evolved” (the UNCW website’s term) into a shade of blue-green known as teal. (Technically, it’s supposed to match the neck feathers of the common teal, a species of duck.)

According to the UNCW Visual Identity Guidelines, issued in the spring of 2007, the colors now stand for “the teal of the ocean, the gold of the sand, and the navy of the deep ocean.” On the Pantone Matching System, the Seahawk teal is PMS 329, the Seahawk gold is PMS 120 and the Navy accent is PMS 281.

Here’s the official UNCW web page on school traditions: http://www.uncw.edu/aboutuncw/aboutHistory.html.

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