Denise Harris

Profile – Denise Harris

Prospect Management Analyst

My position includes . . .

Oversight and maintenance of major gift prospect data for the UT Foundation, prospect identification and research, and coordination of Principle Gift Strategy Sessions for the UT Knoxville campus. One of my primary responsibilities is coordinating with major gift development officers, senior level administrators, and support staff throughout the UT System to manage over 10,000 active prospect records and over 14,000 prospect assignments.

To understand what I do, you must understand …

Relationship management and data integrity. Both are crucial to institutional development and advancement initiatives.

I advance the mission of the university by . . .

Supporting frontline fundraisers in their development initiatives through prospect identification, proactive prospect research, and assistance with prospect portfolio maintenance.

When I grew up I wanted to be . . .

A teacher. At the end of each school year, I collected extra worksheets from my elementary school instructors, organized my living room into a makeshift classroom, and “taught” my younger neighborhood friends the lessons of the year, complete with homework assignments.

If I was gifted with a secret power it would be . . .

Time travel. I’d love to see how people lived before our time.

I start my day by…

Working out. Physical fitness is important to me and I believe working to maintain it is one of the best ways to improve our quality of life.

My bucket list includes …

Lots of international travel, completion of an Ironman Triathlon, and seeing the country on train.

My theme song is . . .

I have too many to name one. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, I’ll say Linus & Lucy by Vince Guaraldi.

I learned the meaning of giving from . . .

My family, who worked hard to ensure I had more opportunities for success than they had. As a first-generation college student and post-graduate degree holder, I understand the transformative power and mutual benefits of giving to others. I’ve learned that gifts come in many forms and we’ve all been recipients at some point. Be it money, items, service, or time, it’s important to find meaningful ways to give of ourselves.

Few know that I . . .

Used to be a dancer. In college, I performed in works of ballet, jazz, and modern/contemporary.