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Charlotte Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber Honors Dontá L. Wilson

In a heartfelt tribute to one of its distinguished alumni, UNC Charlotte recently celebrated the naming of the new Dontá L. Wilson Residence Hall. This marks a significant moment as it not only honors Wilson’s profound legacy but also stands as the campus’s first residence hall named after an African American. Dontá L. Wilson, a beacon of hope and success, defines his life’s purpose with a simple yet powerful acronym: HOPE, or “helping other people excel.”

The dedication ceremony, held on April 9, recognized Wilson’s unyielding support to the university and his creation of the Wilson Believe Fund. This initiative provides vital resources for first-generation college students pursuing degrees in business and education, making higher education more accessible and fostering a cycle of achievement and advancement.

Wilson, who serves as the chief consumer and small business banking officer at Truist Financial Corporation and as vice chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, has continually demonstrated his commitment to his alma mater. Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber praised Wilson’s unwavering support, saying, “Dontá has been a wonderful supporter of our University since his time as an exemplary student leader on our campus. Even as he has gone on to remarkable success as a leader in the banking industry, he has remained dedicated to his alma mater to ensure that others have the same opportunities and experience he had.”

The residence hall, which opened its doors to students in January 2024, now provides housing for nearly 700 first-year students, ushering them into an environment rich in opportunities and support, mirroring the inclusive spirit Wilson embodies.

Wilson expressed his aspirations for the hall, stating, “My greatest hope is to contribute to the kind of rich student experience that lives on long after their time at UNC Charlotte. I believe one of the most meaningful investments one can make is positively changing the trajectory of another person’s life for the better, especially one as significant as making an impact on advancing our community forward through education.”

Understanding the unique challenges faced by first-generation students from his personal experiences, Wilson is particularly sensitive to the anxieties such challenges can present. “Navigating the funding processes and living arrangements can be overwhelming and all consuming,” Wilson remarked, highlighting his dedication to easing these burdens so students can focus on their academic and personal growth.

Kevin Bailey, vice chancellor for student affairs, emphasized Wilson’s role as a mentor and advocate for students, noting, “Whether it is mentoring undergraduate fraternity brothers in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., cheering on the Niners at an athletic event, or hosting student leaders at Truist’s Innovation and Technology Center, Dontá is a champion for our students.”

Wilson’s legacy at UNC Charlotte is marked not only by the residence hall that bears his name but also by his active engagement and profound impact on the community, championing a future where every student can thrive.

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