Monday, October 25, 2010

Family and Alumni Weekend 2010 Enjoyed by Seahawks of All Ages!

Alumni and families of current students came to campus from all over the country to take part in Family & Alumni Weekend on October 15-17, 2010. The university hosted 25 events beginning on Friday and wrapping up on Sunday. Alumni in attendance ranged from the first graduating class of Wilmington College in 1947 to our most recent 2010 graduates. The UNCW Alumni Association focused on three key events: The Golden Wing Society Reunion, Legacy Pinning Ceremony and Young Alumni Reunion.

The graduates of Wilmington College were invited to join their fellow classmates for a brunch on campus. From the classes of 1947-1960, over 30 graduates attended to celebrate achieving and exceeding the milestone of a 50 year alumni status. Classmates reunited and discussed fond memories of their college days. Following the brunch was a student guided trolley tour of UNCW’s campus.

The honor of being a UNCW student was celebrated with many families during the Legacy Pinning Ceremony where over 100 people gathered to commemorate making UNCW a family legacy. Whether it was a sibling, grandparents or parent that attended UNCW, many different legacy students were in attendance. Terry Cottle ‘84 and wife Cynthia ‘85 pinned two of their daughters at the ceremony. Terry explains that the ceremony, “[gave] us a lot of pride and satisfaction when we had the opportunity to share with others that like myself and my wife, two of our three daughters also are attending UNCW.” Terry and his wife both knew that they could count on UNCW to be wonderful college experience for their daughters because they had enjoyable experiences themselves.

Over 100 alumni from the classes of 2000-2010 came back to campus Saturday evening for the Young Alumni Reunion. Lindsay Hushe ‘09 explained that she “loved seeing friends that attended school with me but also individuals that graduated before I did. It was interesting and gave me a sense of pride being a Seahawk to hear other graduates share their stories of success, experiences and where they are currently.” Lindsay also explained that she loved the music by the band Machine Gun. The drinks were flowing, the hors d'oeuvres were enjoyed and Seahawks danced the night away in the company of their classmates.  The class of 2010 celebrated their 10 year milestone and the class of 2005 celebrated their 5 year milestone.

Take a look at photos from the event and see what’s coming up next  for alumni!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Graduates come back to UNCW to perform for the First Annual Alumni Music Concert

“I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down.” –Virgil Thompson (American Composer 1986-1989)

It seems there is truth to what Thompson believes. Ryan Woodall ‘03 grew up around music but started out majoring in Biology at UNCW before changing over to the Music Department. Woodall says, “Deciding to study bass was probably the wisest decision I've made concerning my musical career as it seems no matter where I go someone always needs a bassist.  It's a decision that [has] taken me all over the world and allowed me many opportunities such as playing in the Cab Calloway band and performing with Lynn Roberts.”

Performing is a huge part of being a musician and many of them live for it. Justin Hoke ‘07 has been playing guitar for 16 years and loves performing. “The best part about performing is being able to share my musical perspective with others. Having the opportunity to share my favorite music with my own unique interpretation is an exciting and personal experience. As a performer, my goal is to share the enjoyment that I have experienced from the music with the audience,” explains Hoke.

Many students have come to UNCW and initially majored in something other than music and then later switched after being exposed to it in different ways. “I had always been in music, but didn't think I wanted to study it full time.  I registered for all of the music courses, thinking I would minor in it, and found myself more and more in the music building and less and less over in the sciences,” says Bridgid Eversole ‘00, referring to her experience of becoming a Music major at UNCW.

These performers, and also Brad Merritt ’97, will share their talents and love of music during the first annual Alumni Music Concert on Saturday, October 23. It will be a special event featuring Department of Music alumni, followed by a dessert reception in the Cultural Arts lobby.  Tickets for the concert are $15 and include the complimentary reception and can be purchased from the Kenan Auditorium Box Office by calling 910.962.3931. All proceeds will go toward UNCW music scholarships.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Recent Alumna Publishes Children’s Book featuring Sammy C. Hawk

“Hello, Sammy C. Hawk!” is a wonderful new children’s book authored by UNCW alumna Katie White ’09.  The book was written by Katie while working as an intern in UNCW’s Office of Marketing and Communications. White was chosen to write the book because of her history of working with Storytelling in the Community, a program that sends students to local kindergarten and elementary school classrooms. White now lives in New York, but recently returned to campus to sign copies of the book.

In the book, Sammy C. Hawk, takes a young fan on a tour of campus. “Timmy”, the young fan, is also told about many of UNCW’s favorite traditions and activities, including the alumni TEALgate pre-game social, held during the basketball season, where alumni gather to celebrate and cheer on UNCW. 

The book sells for $14.95 and you can pick up your copy at the bookstore on campus, or online. Autographed copies of the book are being given away as door prizes at select upcoming alumni events!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Intern Diaries: Beginning the Job Search

As the Halloween decorations emerge, it has made me realize that this semester is flying by. Graduation is less than two months away, and the senioritis is growing increasingly difficult to overcome. Yet as the time passes most of my thoughts linger on how I will soon be entering into the professional world. While job searching can be overwhelming, I have already begun to apply for advertised positions in hopes of starting somewhere soon after graduation. With a communication studies degree, I hope to find work in Wilmington. Many of my friends graduated this May and while most of them are in grad school, the other’s who found work moved out of town. Yet I have confidence in my interpersonal skills and know that with hard work things will work out for the best. Through the assistance of college mentors, friends, family and the staff members here at the Alumni Office I feel less anxious as graduation quickly approaches.

This weekend is Family & Alumni Weekend and I am very excited to see the turnout for the Young Alumni Reunion. It will be nice to see individuals who were in my exact situation years ago and what they have done since leaving UNCW.  The reunion will be a great time, and it will be fun to have some drinks in Burney while listening to live music with my friends! If you’re interested in joining those already registered, today is the last day to register online or you can also get tickets at the door on Saturday. We’ll see you there!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Young Alumni Reunion to Host Band “Machine Gun”

As part of the celebration for the UNCW classes of 2000-2010, alumni will enjoy music from the local band “Machine Gun” on Friday, October 16, 2010. Performing as a group since the spring of 2004, the band travels to cities such as Myrtle Beach, Emerald Isle, Washington, Morehead City, Greenville, and of course, Wilmington. Machine Gun not only has been influenced by musicians of all types, but also covers songs diverse bands and artists including: AC/DC, Billy Idol, The Outfield, Sublime, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and many more. Made up of three members, Tommy Brothers on guitar, John white on bass, and Tony Mallard on percussion; the band is currently working on their newest CD as well as performing around eastern North Carolina and parts of South Carolina.

The Young Alumni Reunion for the UNCW classes of 2000-2010 will be held on campus in the Burney Center from 7 - 10pm. All Alumni that are attending the reunion should register online by October 13th.  Find more information about the reunion, class notes, and others who are attending at

Friday, October 8, 2010

UNCW Alumni may leave the beach, but look forward to coming back

The UNCW connection doesn’t stop after graduation, from Wilmington College to our newest graduates; UNCW values all of our alumni. Jessica Costana ‘09 is a recent graduate exploring the dynamic professional world. She claims that she “instantly knew [UNCW] was a school where [she] could both succeed and have fun.” With a communication studies degree, Jessica graduated with skills that have helped her advance both in her personal and professional life. “I walked away from UNCW as a strong communicator with an exuberant amount of enthusiasm and tenacity,” says Jessica.

Like many young graduates, Jessica’s toughest challenge after leaving UNCW was finding a job. She decided to move to New York and look for a good career fit in Public Relations or Marketing. “After many conversations with my friends and mentors I decided to take advantage of an opportunity I had in the finance industry,” says Jessica. Without this advice Jessica would not have seen what a wonderful opportunity this position was and how it’s made an impact in her career.

Jessica will be returning to Wilmington soon for the Young Alumni Reunion on Saturday, October 16, during Family & Alumni Weekend. “When I graduated in 2009 the campus was undergoing a great deal of construction such as, the new nursing building, a parking deck and more campus apartments. I am excited to see the progression of these projects as well as any other new additions on campus,” says Jessica. Although there are many things Jessica misses about UNCW, she has been fortunate to stay connected to friends and professors, and looks forward to seeing them during the reunion weekend.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Meet Tracy Pagnozzi ’98, ‘00M, Triangle Area Alumni Chapter President

The UNCW Alumni Association has regional chapters in the Triad, Cape Fear, Charlotte and Triangle areas. Next to the Cape Fear region, the Triangle Chapter is the second largest concentration of alumni, with nearly 7,900 members. The chapter was re-energized in 2008 and continues to grow exponentially. Tracy Pagnozzi ’98, ’00M is the president for the Triangle Chapter. “When I came (to UNCW) for the tour, I fell in love with the beautiful campus, the architecture, the landscape – it felt like the place where I belonged,” says Tracy.

Tracy explains that while it was a tough choice to leave after graduation, there is nothing like being involved in a regional chapter. “We are all alumni of the same university, we have a very strong thread that binds us together and gives us common ground, because of our shared experiences and our values as alumni,” explains Tracy. Sporting events, mixers, and dinners are just some of the chapter functions. The annual fall alumni dinners have included keynote speakers such as the chancellor, athletic coaches and other UNCW staff. Tracy says that being a part of a regional chapter always makes her immensely proud of the university, the alumni and their accomplishments.

Choosing to volunteer as the chapter president was easy for Tracy because it gave her an opportunity to make a personal and direct connection with many fellow alumni, to encourage them to stay involved, and much more. Whether she was in Raleigh or elsewhere, Tracy explains that “being connected to fellow alumni helps me stay connected to the university. Staying connected to the university reminds me of what a privilege it is, indeed, to be an alumna.”  She, and more than 100 other alumni already registered, are looking forward to connecting at the Triangle Chapter Fall Alumni Dinner on October 7 with guest speaker Men’s Basketball Coach, Buzz Peterson.