The UNCW Student Recreation Center will be renamed in honor of Pat Leonard, the oldest vice chancellor in the university’s history who died in June 2020, university officials announced Friday.
Leonard became vice-chancellor of student affairs in 1996 and served in that role for 24 years. She oversaw the creation of the recreation center in 2000 and considered it one of the projects of which she was most proud.
“Pat Leonard has dedicated herself to generations of students at UNCW. The Recreation Center is one of many special buildings, projects and services she has championed during her decades here,” said the Chancellor Jose Sartarelli in a press release. “His skills as a leader and mentor, combined with his sense of humor and selfless concern for others, have shaped and sustained our Seahawk spirit for years, and we are honored to recognize her memory by naming the student recreation center for her.”
The center will officially bear the name “The Pat Leonard Student Recreation Center”. A ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, February 12 at 1 p.m.
Leonard joined the university in 1983 as Associate Dean of Students.
“Pat Leonard set high standards for UNCW and inspired the Division of Student Affairs to join her in achieving them,” said current Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lowell Davis. “We are honored to celebrate his legacy, now and in the future, at the Leonard Recreation Center.”
According to the university, Leonard was instrumental in “overseeing 20 major construction, renovation and green space projects that have transformed the UNCW campus, including seven housing projects and nine student support buildings. , as well as the recreation center, Fisher Student Center, Fisher University Union, DePaolo Hall, the Burney Center, and the Warwick Center.
The new student housing village, which began in February 2019, was among the last projects Leonard overseen, according to the university.
“Pat was unwavering in his commitment to students and his loyalty to UNCW,” said Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor of student affairs at East Carolina University, in the press release. “She didn’t give up easily, which has led to so many innovative and successful accomplishments, such as this recreation center, all aimed at improving the student experience at UNCW.”
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