HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi.
University of Southern Mississippi Vice President Emeritus for Student Affairs Joe Paul will return to Southern Miss to assist in raising funds and strengthen support of the University, effective Monday, Oct. 5.
Paul will collaborate with The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation and the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation to focus on cultivating existing relationships and developing new partnerships that will help expand the University's reach. Paul will be a key component of the External Affairs division – which also includes the USM Foundation, Southern Miss Alumni Association, Trent Lott National Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, and Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families.
"Joe Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. The ties that bind him to our institution will be a valuable part of establishing stronger connections with our alumni base," said Chad Driskell, vice president for external affairs. "He is a valuable resource that will play an instrumental part in our efforts at the USM Foundation and Alumni Association."
Paul will work closely with Southern Miss Athletic Director Bill McGillis, Senior Associate Athletic Director Brian Morrison and the Athletic Foundation's development team in growing Eagle Club memberships and raising funds to support the athletics program.
"I may be the luckiest athletic director in America today to have Joe return to the University and play a key role in raising funds for the intercollegiate athletics program," said Bill McGillis, Southern Miss athletic director. "Joe will be a tremendous addition to our team and a great asset."
After 39 years of building relationships, influencing students and remaining dedicated to Southern Miss, Paul retired from the vice president for student affairs' position on June 30, 2015. During his tenure, Paul was responsible for significant achievements, including the creation of the Luckyday Citizenship Scholars program and construction of more than $100 million in student-dedicated facilities, such as The Payne Student Recreation Center, The Sorority Village, Century Park North and South, and Moffitt Student Health Center, among others.
"I am excited about returning to my alma mater to assist with university advancement," said Paul. "I am confident I can leverage 40 years of great relationships with our alums and friends to increase investments in our University's bright future."
A Bay St. Louis native, Paul earned two degrees from Southern Miss, graduating with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science in 1975 and a master's in communication and management in 1978. In 1986, he earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Alabama. His many honors include induction into the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame in 2000.
Before becoming vice president for student affairs in February 1993, Paul held a variety of positions on campus, including assistant director of student activities, assistant vice president and dean of student development. He also holds faculty rank in USM's College of Education and Psychology, teaching in the graduate program in educational leadership.