Interim executive director appointed for USM Foundation

Interim executive director appointed for USM Foundation

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -  This is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi.

The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation has announced the appointment of Stace Mercier as its interim executive director, effective June 1, 2015.

Mercier replaces Shannon Fleming who resigned as executive director on May 31 to return to his home state of Arkansas to accept a position at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock as Senior Director of Development and Chief Development Officer at the Reynolds Institute on Aging at UAMS.

Mercier received both her bachelor's degree in accounting and her master's in professional accountancy from The University of Southern Mississippi. She has worked for the Foundation for more than a decade, serving in several capacities, most recently as chief financial officer and associate director for finance.

"It is an honor to lead the Foundation and build upon the good work that is already underway," said Mercier. "I look forward to working with (University President Rodney D.) Dr. Bennett to achieve his vision for the University and connecting our donors with the areas of Southern Miss that are most meaningful to them personally."

The executive director is the top staff professional at the Foundation and directs the day-to-day operations for the organization. The Foundation is responsible for the University's fundraising efforts and, along with the Southern Miss Alumni Association, comprises the Advancement Division of the University.

Bob Pierce, a former executive director of both the Alumni Association and Foundation, serves as the University's vice president for Advancement. He expressed confidence in Mercier's ability to lead the University's fundraising arm.

"I am pleased Stace agreed to serve as the Foundation's executive director in a long-term interim capacity," said Pierce. "She is the right person for the job and has repeatedly demonstrated both a passion for Southern Miss and a keen understanding of the administrative functions of the Foundation. I look forward to working with her in this new role."

Mercier and her husband, Andy, have two children. Their eldest daughter, Ann Marie, is in medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and their youngest daughter, Betsy, is majoring in elementary education at Southern Miss. The Merciers are also members of the USM Foundation Honor Club.