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Southern Miss Business Honors Joseph Saoud as Alumnus of the Year

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 11:01am | By: Bailey Harris

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) College of Business and Economic Development and its Business Advisory Council is delighted to honor Joseph Saoud as the 2020 Boardman Alumnus of the Year. Saoud was recognized during a video shared to the Southern Miss Business YouTube Channel on Friday, Oct. 9.

“Our college has a long history of producing outstanding graduates who go on to distinguish themselves in their career endeavors. In 2001, we began honoring an outstanding alumnus of the year to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates,” said Dr. Bret Becton, dean of the USM College of Business and Economic Development.

Added Becton, “past honorees have included alumni who have had remarkable careers in nearly every industry as executives for large corporations or as founders of their own businesses. One common thread that unites them all is that they have represented the College of Business & Economic Development with honor and integrity and this year’s Alumnus of the Year is no exception.”

During the video, Saoud shared that he grew up in Lebanon during that country’s civil war, constantly separated from his parents who were in Ghana working to give them a better life. His father stressed the importance of an education all of their lives and in 1988, his father sent Saoud to the United States to get an education. Saoud chose Southern Miss.

“I am proud of the years I spent at The University of Southern Mississippi, studying at such a reputable university and living in such a diverse and vibrant atmosphere. My years at USM were some of the best years of my life. It is where I learned so much about and from others and the goodness of human beings,” said Saoud during his acceptance speech.

Saoud went on to say that this was the first time in his life that he and his brother lived together. Fond memories were made while their mother, who eventually becoming a member of the English Language Institute at USM, visited them on campus.

Saoud graduated from USM and the Honors College during the summer of 1992 Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Banking and Finance.

“I can still remember the glow on my parents faces the summer of 1992 when both my brother and I graduated with honors,” he said. “My father passed away this past March and I would like to dedicate this moment to his memory and for the love and values he and my mom instilled in us. When he died, he still had next to his bed our 1992 commencement booklet.”

Upon graduation from USM, Saoud enrolled in the MBA program at Vanderbilt University and was hired by Cummins Inc. upon completion of his graduate degree in 1995. Joseph held numerous roles while at Cummins including roles in Financial Planning and Analysis, Materials Management, Global Purchasing, Plant Management, and General Management in the U.S., Mexico, and United Arab Emirates. In his last seven years with Cummins, Joseph was a Cummins Inc. Officer and President of the global Cummins Filtration business.

In 2016, Joseph joined Bridgestone as President of the Truck and Bus tire business as well as the leader of the global Retread business. Joseph ultimately became an Officer and Executive Vice President of Bridgestone Americas and President of Bridgestone Latin America, where he led Bridgestone’s $2.5 billion business in Latin America. Recently, Joseph retired from Bridgestone to devote more time to his family and real estate development in Nashville, Tennessee.

To learn more about the College of Business and Economic Development at USM, call 601.266.4659 or visit: