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FY22 Sees History Made Through Private Philanthropy

Thu, 08/25/2022 - 08:16am | By: Hayley Taylor

Through the support of private philanthropy of more than 2,800 University of Southern Mississippi (USM) alumni and friends, gifts made through the USM Foundation totaled more than $16.9 million, including approximately $16.3 million in outright gifts and pledges and more than $680,000 in planned gifts.

More than $12 million was disbursed to the University through the USM Foundation to support various scholarships and academic programs, including nearly 2,200 scholarships awarded, totaling approximately $4.9 million.

History was made in fiscal year 2022 with the launch of Give Wing: The Campaign for Southern Miss, the most ambitious fundraising effort in school history. The $150,000,000 campaign rests on three priority pillars: student success, academic excellence, and innovation and discovery and encompasses both academic and athletic initiatives. As of July 30, 2022, $126,356,468 has been raised in support of academics and athletics, reaching 84 percent of the fundraising goal.

Fiscal year 2022 also saw the dedication and opening of the new home for the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families on Friday, Feb. 11. Named in honor of lead benefactor and USM alumnus, Joe Quinlan ’73, and the Center’s founding director, Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond (US Army, Retired) ’79, ’86, the 5,500-square-foot facility reflects the nationally recognized program USM provides to the military student community.

An immense supporter of Southern Miss students for more than 20 years, the Luckyday Foundation of Ridgeland, Miss., recently made an additional commitment of more than $9.6 million through the USM Foundation to support the Luckyday Scholars Program at Southern Miss. The Luckyday Foundation has provided significant financial and programmatic support, impacting more than 2,200 students through scholarships.

“The University of Southern Mississippi is a special place, and much of our distinction comes from our community of alumni and friends,” said Stace Mercier, executive director. “From longtime partners like the Luckyday Foundation to young alumni making their first gift, the culture of philanthropy is solid. We continue to look forward to the transformation of our beloved University thanks to each gift.”

Founded in 1959, the USM Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to serving the University community by overseeing fundraising efforts to raise private support for scholarships and other academic needs at Southern Miss.

For more information on supporting The University of Southern Mississippi, call the USM Foundation at 601.266.5210 or visit