UNCW Student Recreation Center named in honor of Pat Leonard

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(Picture WWAY)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WWAY) — UNCW held a ceremony Saturday to honor the late Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Pat Leonard, naming the student recreation center in his memory.

Leonard died in June 2020, she was UNCW’s longest-serving vice-chancellor, serving in the role for 24 years. As Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Leonard was known to students as “VCPL”. She helped grow UNCW and was involved in many campus projects involving housing, student support buildings, and helped establish the Recreation Center.

Leonard’s wife said she considers the “Pat Leonard Recreation Center” a symbol of Leonard’s legacy at the university.

“Today is a phenomenal day for the campus to celebrate a life well lived and an extremely beloved person. It’s beautiful weather, it’s back to school, it’s a reunion, it’s just a – just the way she wanted it to be. You know, surrounded by the love of students, faculty, alumni and staff,” said Susan Vanecek, wife of Pat Leonard.

University officials said Pat Leonard impacted the lives of nearly 100,000 students during his time at UNCW. His picture and information about his impact at UNCW can be found in the Recreation Center lobby.

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