Skip to main content

Dr. William H. Wagoner Collection

Identifier: SC-MS-271

Scope and Contents

Dr. William H. Wagoner served as the Superintendent of the New Hanover county school system from 1961-1968, as the fourth President of Wilmington College from 1968-1969 and as the first Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 1969-1990. This collection contains correspondence, publications, newspaper clippings, agendas, photographs, maps and ephemera related to the careers of Dr. Wagoner in Wilmington as well as his personal life.


  • Creation: 1959-1990


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

William H. Wagoner was born in 1927 and grew up in Washington, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelors in Science from Wake Forest College in 1949, a Master of Arts from East Carolina University in 1953 and a Ph.D from the University of North Carolina in Education Administration and Political Science in 1959. Wagoner began his career as a high school chemistry, physics and public speaking teacher in Washington and worked in Elizabeth City public schools administration as Superintendent. In 1961, he became Superintendent of the New Hanover County school system. It is during this time, that he was was asked to become a part-time faculty member for Wilmington College, beginning a long tenure with the University. After the retirement of William Randall, Wagoner was elected President of Wilmington College. During his first year as president, the college was involved in negotiations to move into the consolidated University of North Carolina and ultimately joined in 1969. Wagoner was then elected Chancellor of the University of North Carolina system at Wilmington. Under his leadership, the basic organizational structure of the University was established with the formation of the Cameron School of Business, School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing and the Graduate school. UNCW's marine science program and cooperative Ph.D with NC State University was also begun under Wagoner's direction. During Wagoner's tenure, the campus grew tremendously to include such major structures as Trask Coliseum, Randall Library, the University Union and several residence halls. He also set the tone for conservation of environmentally sensitive portions of campus, reserving ten acres for the Bleuthenthal Wildflower Preserve. Wagoner and his family lived in Kenan House (donated to the University in 1969) throughout his career at UNCW. After his retirement in 1990, a road in front of campus and the maining dining hall were named in his honor.


53 Containers (Contains 47 document boxes, 3 bankers boxes, and 3 oversized boxes.)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Dr. William Wagoner.

Processing Information

Processed by Colleen Griffiths in March, 2010 and revised by Kate Edwards in Spring, 2014. Finding aid revised and updated for conversion to Archon by Rebecca Baugnon and Kate Edwards in Spring, 2014.

Dr. William H. Wagoner Collection
Special Collections Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository