While serving an almost 12-year tenure as the executive director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, Bob Pierce was named the acting vice president for advancement and executive director of the USM Foundation by University President Martha Saunders in January 2010. Three months later, President Saunders announced the appointment would become permanent on July 1, 2010.
As the vice president for advancement and executive director of the USM Foundation, Pierce has overseen the relocation of the Foundation staff from the Honor House to the Trent Lott Center and restructured the development staff. This reorganization resulted in the Foundation’s fundraising efforts being focused on major, top-priority initiatives that were selected by the University’s Executive Cabinet, endorsed by the USM Foundation’s board of directors and resulted in a record fundraising year in 2011-2012.
While the executive director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association from 1999-2010, Pierce led the effort to generate $3.26 million in private support for the restoration and expansion of the Ogletree House, the home of the Alumni Association. In June 2010, the Association successfully completed its 20,000 in 2010 Membership Campaign, setting a new record for alumni participation with 21,088 members.
Pierce earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with honors from Southern Miss in 1991 and completed a master’s degree in advertising and public relations at the University of Alabama in 2003 when he was selected as the program’s outstanding graduate student that year. In 2008, the Mississippi Business Journal recognized him as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” business leaders in the state of Mississippi. He is formerly a member of the board of directors for the Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation.
About the VP-Advancement
The vice president for advancement and executive director of the USM Foundation oversees the day-to-day operations of the USM Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit corporation chartered to receive charitable gifts on behalf of the University. The position also has management responsibility for the executive director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association and the University’s chief communication officer. Together, the USM Foundation, Southern Miss Alumni Association and the Office of University Communications staffs form the Advancement Division of the University.