UNCW taps LSU veteran to lead Seahawk fundraising

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Following a national search for a new leader of The Seahawk Club, UNCW’s official fundraising arm for the Department of Athletics, the university named Derek W. Denton as executive director of the UNCW Student Aid Association (Seahawk Club) on Tuesday. Denton comes to Wilmington from Lousiana State University.

Denton replaces Rob Aycock, who submitted his resignation in January as Senior Associate Athletic Director and Executive Director of the Seahawk Club. Aycock joined the university in 2013 and his last official day on the job is June 30.

Derek Denton. Photo courtesy- LSU
Derek Denton. Photo courtesy- LSU

“Derek’s expertise in athletics fundraising focuses on several key areas for UNCW, such as building alumni chapters and student clubs, while also generating significant private support for scholarship endowments and capital projects,” said UNCW Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “Our athletics program continues to achieve great success in competition and our student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom. Under Derek’s leadership, we’re eager to create new connections with Seahawk fans and friends of the university to capitalize on our program’s momentum.”

The Seahawks Club provides funds for athletic scholarships for more than 325 student-athletes.

Denton will begin his new role at UNCW on Aug. 22, reporting to Eddie Stuart, vice chancellor of the Division for University Advancement. While at Louisiana State University, Denton served as the assistant director of development for the LSU Tiger Athletic Foundation since July 2010.

At LSU, he focused on major gift development, raising more than $8.3 million for LSU scholarship endowments and capital projects. His previous experience includes serving as assistant director of the East Carolina University Educational Foundation, where he was responsible for managing 16 Pirate Club chapters as well as the ECU Student Pirate Club.

UNCW's Trask Coliseum.
UNCW’s Trask Coliseum.

Denton’s responsibilities will include managing all Seahawk Club fundraising activities and day-to-day operations as well as directing donor recognition and stewardship programs. He will work in collaboration with Stuart and Jimmy Bass, director of athletics, to enhance the educational mission of UNCW Athletics.

“Derek will bring energy and expertise to an important role on our campus,” Stuart said. “He has a proven track record of involving students, alumni, donors and fans in philanthropic programs at LSU and ECU. AD Bass and I are excited about his ideas for building on the strong foundation of support UNCW already receives from the Seahawk nation.”

Denton holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in sport management from ECU.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join the Seahawk family,” Denton said. “I respect the commitment and dedication that UNCW student-athletes and coaches bring to their teams, and I look forward to working with Chancellor Sartarelli, Eddie Stuart and Jimmy Bass to increase philanthropic support and the fan base for UNCW Athletics.”