Friday, January 28, 2011

Seahawk makes an impact on Wrightsville Beach and across the nation

Think you found a great spot to lay your towel on the beach just to realize that there’s trash peeking out from the sand and shells? Do you just keep walking, ignoring the fact that what was only a nuisance to you is actually a hazard to animals and wildlife on our beaches? Danielle Richardet ‘01, has begun an awareness campaign on the effects of trash, focusing on cigarette butts. Her efforts achieved national recognition and she won the Brita FilterforGood Film Project qualifying for a film to be created and screened during the Sundance Film Festival at the Brita FilterForGood Event.

While at UNCW, Danielle took interest in becoming an avid recycler. During a visit to long-time friend and past college roommate, Danielle and her family met Sara Bayles of “The Daily Ocean Blog”. While on the beach in Santa Monica, Danielle noticed that all of the trashcans had a photo of a palm tree, surf board, and cigarette with the words, “One of these don’t belong here.” Instantly, Danielle was inspired to return home and help clean up Wrightsville Beach.

Beginning August 9, 2010 Danielle, along with her husband and three young children, started taking 20 minute trips to pick up cigarette butts and other trash along various accesses on Wrightsville Beach. Her blog, “It Starts with Me”, reflects the cigarette count and weight of the litter collected each day. Since August, friends and community members have also helped Danielle collect 13,771 cigarette butts in just 39 days from the beach. In her blog, Danielle writes,"... it doesn't really matter whether or not we live at the beach. We go to the beach to be in the ocean... play in the sand... bask in the sun... there's certainly no reason why we (or anyone else) shouldn't want to head out to the beach and make a difference in a place we LOVE so much.”

Danielle is a devoted Seahawk who truly loves our community and beaches. She encourages everyone to do what they can to make a difference, “It’s simple…what we do (or don’t do) has an impact on the world we live in. It starts with me and ripples to you…”

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 Alumni Award Recipients Announced

The Alumni Association is excited to announce the recipients of the 2011 Alumni Awards. Each of the honorees showcase their Seahawk spirit with fellow alumni, friends and in the communities they live.

Malcomb Coley ’86, ‘89M is the 2011 UNCW Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient. Currently, a CPA and partner with Atlanta’s Ernst & Young, Coley earned his degrees in the Cameron School of Business. In addition to being an active member of many professional accounting and diversity organizations, Coley is a featured speaker during UNCW Business Week and MSA classes. We are pleased to recognize such an active individual, willing to give time and resources back to his alma mater.

Also a Cameron School of Business graduate, Shaun Olsen ‘02, will be awarded the Young Alumnus of the Year Award. Immediately after graduation, he began Olsen Enterprises and has since added 3 companies to the mix. BBXComputers was his first company offering sales, design and IT structure consulting. Two years later AcoustiCreations, Inc. was formed, specializing in home theater installations. Olsen also created Opterex an advanced technology and communications services firm. At UNCW, Olsen is a member of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development and the Cameron Exectuive Network, and currently mentoring two business students.

Charles Edward Alexander III is the recipient of the Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award. Alexander is currently the Vice Chair for UNCW Foundation Board of Directors, as well as serving on the Endowment Board and Cameron School of Business Committee. In the community, Alexander served on the Board of Directors for Cameron Art Museum and the NC Museum of Art Grand Opening Committee. Alexander worked in Raleigh as the Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley and is now retired.

These three outstanding individuals have demonstrated character, professionalism and a devotion to UNCW. They will receive their awards during Homecoming 2011 and will be honored during the parade and Men’s Basketball game on Saturday, February 19.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

UNCW Homecoming 2011- only 29 days away!

With Homecoming 2011 right around the corner the alumni staff and volunteers couldn't be more excited to get together with our alumni friends. This year, we're bringing back all your favorites and even added more events to welcome alumni and friends to UNCW's campus. You can find details and how to register on the Homecoming website.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Seahawk Hero: Ray Buchanan '72

“Living simply so that others could simply live,” are the words by which one philanthropic Seahawk alumnus lives. Ray Buchanan ’72 has set out to do what many have dreamed of but few have ever thought possible: end world hunger. A Texas native, Buchanan was based at Camp Lejune upon joining the Marine Corps and began his undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Religion at UNCW following completion of his service. During these years of service and as an undergrad, Buchanan realized his passion for religion and helping others and went on to Duke Divinity School, then Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.

Ray Buchanan’s vision to provide international help in the form of nutrition quickly evolved into reality when he partnered with John Hewitt in 1998 to form Stop Hunger Now. The organization has provided over 34 million meals and $70 million in direct aid to the hungry in 72 different countries around the world.

Over 90% of the food has gone to school meals programs, which Buchanan views as a way of tackling some of the most pressing third world issues. He believes that if needy children are being fed, then their parents will send them to school, increasing enrollment. The resulting educated population will provide a better equipped workforce and will be more knowledgeable about health issues, decreasing birthrates and the spread of infectious disease.

Million Meals Packaging Event in Trask
Most recently, Stop Hunger Now has orchestrated the Million Meals Event where volunteer groups gather at universities across to country to pack meals. UNCW rallied up 450 volunteers to participate in this event on Saturday, August 29, 2010 in Trask Coliseum to package meals to be shipped to schools in Haiti, Kenya, and Nicaragua. A second packaging event took place in Hanover Hall on November 13, 2010, resulting in 140,000 meals ready to be shipped across the world.

Ray Buchanan believes that hunger will no longer be an issue in this lifetime if we all join together to donate time and resources to those less fortunate. We, at UNCW, are proud to call him a Seahawk and believe that those dreams can be achieved.