Donor Spotlight: Lee King
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
Q: Tell us a little more about yourself.
I graduated from UNCW and am a proud member of the Seahawk Nation. After graduate school, I returned to Wilmington where I met and married my beautiful wifeDr. Doris King. We are the proud parents of three wonderful boys Jacob, Henry and Matthew. I am employed by ICON, a Dublin based contract research organization, where I serve as Vice President of Late Phase Clinical Research. While this position requires quite a bit of travel, it allows me the opportunity to live here in Wilmington where I can catch many Seahawk games and events. In my spare time, I enjoy golf, movies, historical fiction and spending time with my family.
Q: How did you get interested in UNCW Athletics and the Seahawk Club?
My interest in UNCW athletics began during my time as an undergraduate probably sparked when I, along with quite a few others, stormed the court in Richmond back in 1986 after Brian Rowsom hit the only 3 pointer of his career at the buzzer to defeat ECU during the CAA tournament. I got a wonderful opportunity to begin working with Joe Browning and his awesome staff back in 1996 supporting game operations for men's and women's basketball and began doing that full time along with helping out during baseball games upon my relocation to Wilmington in the late nineties. I continue to volunteer in this capacity along with working with the field crew for baseball and softball. This experience continues to provide not only the opportunity to see some wonderful games; but also, to interact with the wonderful coaches and players who are a part of these programs. I followed a natural progression and became involved with the Seahawk Club as well where I served for a number of years on the Seahawk Club board.
Q: What makes the Seahawk Club and Seahawk Athletics special?
For me, it is the relationship between the two that makes it special. While the Seahawk Club has grown over the years along with the athletic program, it still remains very narrow in its focus to provide support for scholarships for our athletes. Traditionally, this allowed the group to make a meaningful impact when it was smaller in size; however, now we have seen significant growth in our ability to field programs that are fully funded. In my opinion, the transition from partially to fully funded for programs is a necessary first step to long term excellence. I believe the success of a number of our programs is a direct result of this continued effort not only because of the monetary support; but also because it allows the Athletic department the flexibilty to focus their efforts in other areas necessary for the overall success of the program.
Q: What would you say to a prospective donor who is thinking about joining the Seahawk Club?
When speaking to prospective donors, I always try to relate to them what I perceive to be my return on investment. Certainly, the improvement in the overall program is a return but I also try to convey what a donation means to the community. With three small boys, it is so great to see the UNCW athletes participating in youth organizations as coaches and look into the schools systems where they routinely participate as mentor or tutors for young people. It is my belief, that donations to the Seahawk club provide the necessary financial support to these athletes which allow them the time to devote to giving back to the community.
My involvement in the Seahawk Club has also provided me the opportunity to meet and interact with a number of the athletes. UNCW is blessed with a great group of high performers both on and off the field. Over the years, I have been able to observe these student athletes working in internship programs which have allowed them to further prepare themselves for their profession and a number of them continue to be colleagues now working after graduation. Again, the donation to the Seahawk club and the subsequent scholarship has provided these individuals with the ability to be successful.
Q: What is your most memorable UNCW moment?
This is a tough question because there have been so many so I think I will take the liberty to expand to my top three. I mentioned the Rowsom shot earlier which I rank third. At number 2 would be the CAA baseball tournament game against James Madison a few years ago when the Seahawks came out after a weather delay to storm from behind to defeat the Dukes and went on to win the CAA Championship. However, my most memorable moment was watching several thousand Oregon and Wake Forest fans jump on the Teal Bandwagon and cheer on the Seahawks as UNCW defeated Southern California on their home turf out in Sacramento during the NCAA basketball tournament a few years ago. It was a special night for the program and the university and I am so glad I had the opportunity to witness it.
Q: What excites you the most about the future of UNCW Athletics?
I am most excited about the direction we are taking in athletics. The department has done a fantastic job in transitioning the athletic program as a whole to a solid mid-major program with name recognition across the nation. I am excited with the progress but more importantly with the potential for excellence in the future.