Thursday, February 29, 2024

Wilmington power players earn spots on UNCW Board of Trustees

The UNCW Board of Trustees will soon include a new group of private sector moguls and a Republican politician. (Port City Daily/Preston Lennon)

WILMINGTON — Former N.C. Rep Holly Grange has been appointed to the UNCW Board of Trustees, in an appointments bill that cleared both the N.C. House and Senate Tuesday.

Grange first took District 20, which covers parts of northern Wilmington, New Hanover County, and Figure Eight Island, running unopposed in 2016. She won election in 2018, then competed against Dan Forest in the 2020 gubernatorial Republican primary. 

Grange graduated from West Point and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After serving in the Army Reserve and earning a Juris Doctor in Illinois, she moved to Wilmington, where a few years later she gained a spot on the N.C. Ports Authority.

She was a member of the tarmac greeting party when former President Donald Trump flew to Wilmington in Air Force One last year to honor the city as the nation’s first World War II Heritage City. 

Speaker of the House Tim Moore appointed Grange to the UNCW Board of Trustees, the university governing body that approves large expenditures and works in tandem with the chancellor. Senate President pro tempore Philip Berger, in his list of nominations, re-appointed Roberty Rippy to the UNCW board. The owner and founder of Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, Rippy was first appointed to the post four years ago. 

Appointments to boards of trustees at North Carolina’s 16 public universities are split between the two top legislators and the Board of Governors (BOG), the group that oversees the University of North Carolina System itself. 

The BOG has names for three new UNCW trustee spots in the pipeline. Among them: Live Oak Bank’s Chip Mahan; CEO of Marine Federal Credit Union in Jacksonville, Jeffrey Clark; and Malcomb Decarlo Coley, Charlotte managing partner for Ernst & Young U.S.

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