In October 2020, the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation announced the addition of Denson Hollis of Oxford as the new Chief Development Officer/Associate A.D. for Development. Denson’s responsibilities include the development of philanthropic major gifts to the Vaught Society, which focuses on serving all 18 sports at Ole Miss.
Hollis is a 12-year fundraising veteran for the University of Mississippi, joining the UM Office of Development in 2009. Most recently, Hollis served as the Executive Director of Principal Gifts, where he was responsible for establishing the first-ever principal gifts program at Ole Miss. The mission of the Principal Gifts program is to create philanthropic collaboration amongst all areas of the University, including academics, athletics, alumni association and the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Hollis worked extensively with the College of Liberal Arts during his tenure at the university, though his fundraising efforts have touched almost every corner of campus, including securing major gifts for every school on campus and numerous cultural arts areas. In his career, Hollis has raised $35.5 million, including more than $2 million for Ole Miss Athletics, visiting alumni in 43 different states along the way. The 2020 fiscal year was Hollis’s best yet as a fundraiser, securing $8.9 million in gifts for the university.
Hollis, a native of Clarksdale, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ole Miss in 2001 and a master’s degree in sport management from Georgia Southern in 2004. Hollis lives in Oxford with his wife, Lauren, a 2004 Ole Miss alumna with a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences, and their three daughters, Eloise (7), Marian (5) and Vivi (2). Hollis is a third-generation Ole Miss alumnus and is one of 18 people in his immediate and extended family to attend Ole Miss.