Wendell Staton has returned to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke as director of major and planned gifts in the Office for Advancement.
Staton comes to UNCP from the City of Lumberton, where he was director of the Parks and Recreation Department for three years. For six years before that, he was a UNCP faculty member in the Department of Health and Physical Education, golf coach and assistant men’s basketball coach.
In his new position, Staton will be responsible for planning and directing major fund-raising activities for the University. He reports to Sandy Waterkotte, vice chancellor for Advancement.
“I feel very lucky that we’ve been able to recruit Wendell to the Advancement office, and I know he’ll help us accomplish our goals,” Waterkotte said. “We’re at a point in our growth where having someone as personable as Wendell, and as knowledgeable about UNCP as he is, will help us attract new friends – and keep our old friends energized.”
Staton said he has enjoyed a special relationship with the University and is pleased to return in a new capacity.
“I have deep affection for the University and the region where my wife and I have chosen to live and raise our children,” Staton said. “There has never been a more exciting time to be associated with this University. This is a great product, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to market it.”
Staton supervised up to 30 employees at Lumberton Parks and Recreation and was responsible for all aspects of the department, including planning, fund-raising, grant writing and construction of several major park projects. Staton developed the master plan for the new Northeast Park, a 91-acre project costing $7 million.
“I enjoyed working for the City of Lumberton. It gave me valuable experience in many areas including administration, fund-raising, and an overall perspective of the public arena” Staton said. “For me the most important thing is building relationships with people to build stronger institutions.”
Staton’s experience in athletics will aid him with a major fund-raising campaign that is currently in the planning stages in the Office of Advancement, Waterkotte said.
“Wendell’s background in sports – here at UNCP and then most recently for the City of Lumberton – is a great plus,” she said. “As we gear up for what may be our most ambitious fund-raising campaign ever, we’ll benefit from the perspective he brings to our organization.”
Staton said football is critical for a growing University.
“Football is instrumental to the future of this University, and there is a groundswell of support for it among students, faculty, alumni and the surrounding community,” Staton said. “The return of football at UNCP and the Campaign for Football are history in the making, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
A native of Graham, N.C., Staton graduated from St. Andrews Presbyterian College. He earned a Master of Education degree from Georgia College and State University, where he was an assistant basketball coach. He was an assistant coach at Elon University before joining UNCP’s faculty.
Staton is married to the former Yvette Renaud, and they have two children, Ellen, age 12, and Charlie, age nine.