UNCW mourns the passing of Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard

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Pat Leonard (Photo: UNCW)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), Pat Leonard, passed away peacefully in her Carolina Beach home on Wednesday.

Leonard worked for UNCW for 37 years, and held her Vice Chancellor role for 23 of those years.

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In a letter by Chancellor Jose Sartarelli, he describes Leonard as “an extraordinary person who considered herself quite ordinary, and there will never be another like her.”

In her programs like Move-In Celebrations she worked to connect students and help them gain footing in their education and lives. She would even play corn-hole with students on the Hoggard Lawn in her free time.

She worked to mentor staff and collaborate with colleges. In 2019, she was awarded the William C. Friday Lifetime Achievement Award, given to her by the Association of Student Governments of NC.



Leonard helped build and renovate the campus’s many buildings including, the Fisher Student Center, Fisher University Union, Warwick Center and the Burney Center.

“When Pat arrived, UNCW was known as a “suitcase campus,” with limited co-curricular programs and few things to do on evenings and weekends. But with years of planning, hiring progressive and creative staff, and creating her vision (and a mantra: “Creating Experiences for Life”), she made the campus a home for thousands of students.”

“Simply put, UNCW wouldn’t exist the way it does today without all of the work and passion Pat put forth since her arrival in 1983.”