Awards & Scholarships

Open Nominations

Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards

The UNCW Alumni Association recognizes alumni and friends for their outstanding achievements and their service to the university and community. Award recipients are honored each year during Homecoming.

View the full list of past Distinguished Award recipients »

Nomination information:

Distinguished Young Alumnus/a of the Year Nomination
  • Alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years are eligible for this award that honors individuals demonstrating commitment to the university and the association’s mission, vision and values.
Distinguished Alumnus/a of the Year Nomination
  • This prestigious award recognizes alumni who provide outstanding service to the university and have achieved distinction in their professional accomplishments.
Distinguished Citizen of the Year Nomination
  • This award honors community members who provide uncommon and outstanding service to the university.

Questions? Contact Christopher Montero at (910) 962.2587 or

2020 Alumni Award Honorees

Julie AndrewsDistinguished Young Alumna of the Year:
Julie Andrews '13

In the last two years, Julie Andrews ’13 has added 18 professional awards to her résumé. As marketing manager for Logan Homes, her work has been recognized with awards for best website, social media campaign, newsletter and more. In 2019, she was recognized by Logan Homes as their North Carolina “Employee of the Year.”

A member of the UNCW Alumni Association Board and Cape Fear Steering Committee, she also serves as president of the Communication Studies Alumni Chapter. She is the 2020 President of Cape Fear CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) and served as Event Producer on the TEDxAirlie committee that brought TEDx back to Wilmington in 2019. She was the key liaison and partner with UNCW and the Department of Communication Studies to help bring a viewing site to campus to better involve students in event planning and live broadcast.

She graduated with honors with a bachelor’s in communication studies and was a member of the Lamda Pi Eta honors society and the Communication Studies Society.

Mark ScalfDistinguished Alumnus of the Year:
Mark Scalf '80

Mark Scalf ’80, the all-time winningest coach at UNCW and in the Colonial Athletic Association, retired from coaching baseball following the 2019 season, one that saw the Seahawks win their sixth CAA tournament championship and advance to the NCAA Regionals for the tenth time.

A native of Cary, N.C., Scalf first walked on Seahawk turf as a freshman infielder in 1977 and graduated with a degree in physical education. He rejoined the baseball program as an assistant coach in 1984 and was elevated to head coach in June 1991.

The Seahawks won nine CAA regular season championships and six CAA Tournament titles with Scalf at the helm. He twice served as an assistant coach on Team USA’s Collegiate National Team and celebrated his 941st and final career victory with a CAA Championship vs. Elon on May 26, 2019.

Former players, 81 of whom went on to play professionally, have noted how Scalf inspired them to be better versions of themselves and brought a community of UNCW fans, faculty, staff, students and alumni to Brooks Field.

Ashlee BalenaDistinguished Citizen of the Year:
Dr. Ashlee Balena '95

After teaching 9th grade English in Quito, Ecuador, and earning her master’s and doctoral degrees, Ashlee S. Balena ’95 returned to Wilmington to give back to the university that opened so many doors for her academically and professionally.

She is now a senior lecturer in UNCW’s Department of World Languages and Cultures, where she declared Spanish as her major at age 17.

Balena’s passion for teaching is matched by her desire to make a difference in the local community and abroad. She has made recent mission trips to Nicaragua and Mexico to serve as an interpreter and volunteer with Lifepoint Church and their partners Amigos for Christ and Children’s Cup, aiding with the construction of a school, water wells and bridges between two cultures.

In the community, she teaches “SWAM: Spanish with a Mission” and Spanish to youth as the Spanish Club advisor at Holly Tree Elementary. At UNCW, she has led study abroad programs to Ecuador, Spain and Argentina.

Balena was the recipient of the 2017 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award and the 2019 UNCW Excellence in e-Learning Award.


Professional School Awards

Cameron School of Business Outstanding Alumni Awards

The UNCW Cameron School of Business (CSB) annually recognizes alumni who have achieved honor and distinction within their professional or personal lives. The awards are presented at the CSB Outstanding Alumni event during Business Week in the spring.

Recipient Information »

School of Nursing Annual Alumni Awards

The UNCW School of Nursing Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award is presented annually at the Nurses Day Banquet in May. Nominees for this award must have graduated in 2014 or prior and exemplify the spirit of excellence in nursing directly working with patients, along with providing service to their community. Nomination forms are available in the spring and accepted from alumni, faculty, staff and community members.

Recipient Information »

Watson College of Education Alumni Awards

The UNCW Watson College of Education (WCE) Alumni Chapter recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to education and represent the commitment to excellence typified by the Watson College of Education. Nominations for these annual awards are available in the spring and accepted from alumni, faculty, staff and community members. The award is presented at a WCE alumni reception.

Recipient Information »

collage of students who received awards

Student Awards

UNCW students, staff and faculty are invited to nominate graduating seniors for the two association-sponsored awards listed below. Learn more »

William A. Bryan Senior Leader Award

Honors members of the senior class who best exemplify the ideals of service to others, collaboration, leadership and devotion to UNCW, while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. The recipient receives an inscribed clock from the UNCW Alumni Association.

Rachael Freeman Service Leadership Award

Honors members of the senior class who best embody the ideals of service to others, commitment to social justice and collaborative leadership. The recipient receives a cash award of $250 sponsored by the UNCW Alumni Association.

Faculty Awards

J. Marshall Crews Distinguished Faculty Award

The J. Marshall Crews Distinguished Faculty Award honors faculty who exhibit the qualities of service and leadership that Dr. Crews personified throughout his life. Recipients will be awarded a $500 stipend at the fall faculty meeting in September.

Nominate a faculty member »

Past recipients and other faculty award winners »

2020 J. Marshall Crews Award Recipient

J Marshall Crews Award winner

Stephen Meinhold
Political Science Professor

Learn more »

Alumni Association Scholarships

The UNCW Alumni Association annually awards more than $50,000 in scholarships funded by alumni contributions. To apply for one of these awards, visit the UNCW scholarship application managed by the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid.

Scholarships awarded by the Alumni Association
  • Alumni Legacy Scholarship
  • Alumni Graduate Scholarship
  • Alumni Association Bob King '66 Scholarship
  • Cape Fear Bank/John Cameron Coburn Alumni Scholarship
  • Claire Stanley Student Ambassador Scholarship
  • Gerald Shinn UNCW Alumni Association Merit Scholarship
  • Geraldine King Morris Nursing Scholarship
  • Hugh Henry Fox UNCW Alumni Association Scholarship
  • Jim A. Humphries Memorial Scholarship
  • Lewis/Wiley Alumni Graduate Fellowship
  • Mary Catherine, Susan & Elizabeth James Alumni Association Scholarship
  • Perry Daniel Lockamy Jr. '63 Memorial UNCW Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship
  • Sara Fussell Messer '66 Scholarship
  • The Alumni Association Patricia Corcoran Smith '72 Scholarship
  • Watson School of Education Alumni Chapter Scholarship
  • Wilmington College Alumni Scholarship
Scholarships established in part by the Alumni Association
  • The Betty Jo Welch Communications Studies Alumni Scholarship
  • The Denis G. Carter Scholarship
  • The Triad Alumni Chapter Scholarship

These scholarships are awarded based on academic merit to current, incoming and transfer students. For specific criteria, view this PDF.

Questions? Contact the Scholarships & Financial Aid Office at (910) 962.3177 or

pair of glasses resting on a student research book
Want to help support student scholarships?

North Carolina residents who own a custom UNCW license plate support these awards through a portion of their annual fees.

Donations can be made to a specific scholarship by searching for its name on this secure online gift form.

Learn about establishing your own endowed or annual scholarship »

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