The Wayne Densch Charitable Trust has made the largest charitable gift commitment in the history of UCF Athletics.
The UCF Foundation and UCF Athletics said the charitable gift of $4 million will support the construction of the Wayne Densch Center for Student-Athlete Leadership. The new center will be the centerpiece of UCF’s vision to mold its student-athletes into community leaders who are prepared to make a difference in the world.
“We are very grateful to the Wayne Densch Charitable Trust and Leonard Williams for this record-setting gift,” UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury said. “Mr. Densch was a wonderful supporter of UCF Athletics and we’re absolutely thrilled to name the Wayne Densch Student-Athlete Leadership Center in his honor.
“We are first and foremost educators. This facility will allow us to deliver on our core mission of developing our Everyday Champion student-athletes into future leaders for many, many years to come.”
The Wayne Densch Student-Athlete Leadership Center will serve as the headquarters for UCF student-athletes’ personal, professional and academic development. It will house UCF’s Student-Athlete Leadership Institute, Academic Services for Student-Athletes, Student Services and Compliance departments, while also providing operations space to serve more than 500 student-athletes. The center will include a multi-purpose classroom which will hold 200 students, a computer lab, tutoring and mentoring rooms, study space and conference and resource rooms.
“The Wayne Densch Charitable Trust has been a stalwart supporter of UCF Athletics for decades,” said UCF President John C. Hitt. “This generous gift represents another milestone in the outstanding partnership between UCF and the Wayne Densch Charitable Trust to support our student-athletes.”
UCF’s longstanding partnership with the late Wayne M. Densch dates back to 1985, when the Orlando businessman pledged $1 million to fund athletic scholarships. It also includes support for UCF’s original athletic complex. Under the leadership of Leonard E. Williams, the charitable trust made a $2.5 million donation toward the construction of the Wayne Densch Sports Center, which opened in 2003 and is home to the UCF football program and the department’s strength and conditioning centers.
“UCF was his favorite team,” said Williams, who serves as trustee of the Wayne Densch Charitable Trust. “Because UCF was Wayne’s favorite charitable cause, we’ve tried to continue honoring what he was doing when he was alive. I think he would be pleased by this gift.”
Wayne Densch, who passed away in 1994, had moved to Orlando from Kentucky. Densch was, according to Mr. Williams, “a man who didn’t hesitate to help, but one who didn’t want the publicity.”
The $4 million gift to the Wayne Densch Center for Student-Athlete Leadership allows UCF to initiate the design phase of the $6.5 million project, while the remaining funds are raised. The Wayne Densch Center for Student-Athlete Leadership will be located just east of and adjacent to Bright House Networks Stadium. Construction is expected to begin in mid- to late 2014.