UM adds 4 new development officers
By Carter Hach
University of Mississippi
Four new University of Mississippi development officers offer distinctly qualified backgrounds and share a passion for securing private gifts to support academics.
Suzette Matthews, Katie Morrison, Matthew “Porch” Porchivina III and Maura Wakefield have joined the Office of University Development and are tasked with a common goal: generating resources that will benefit and enrich the academic environment at Ole Miss.
“We are proud to officially welcome these outstanding individuals to our team,” said Debbie Vaughn, senior executive director and chief development officer. “As they focus on increasing private support, we are anticipating great achievements for their respective schools and other assignments.”
A native of the Delta town of Cleveland, Matthews earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in education from Delta State University. She serves as development officer for the UM School of Law.
“My goals for the current academic year and next year are to double the number of alumni who are giving to the law school and to raise additional scholarship support for our students,” Matthews said.
Morrison, recently named director of development for corporate and foundation relations, has worked on the Office of Development/University Foundation team for more than two years. Before accepting her new position, she was communications specialist for the organization.
“I am intent upon increasing our corporate and philanthropic partnerships to create long-term, mutually beneficial relationships,” Morrison said. “The University of Mississippi leads the state and the nation in many areas of research and education. I’ll be identifying organizations who share our goals, and together, we can find solutions and create new opportunities.”
Porchivina joined the Office of University Development staff as a graduate intern after earning a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism in May 2015. He was recently promoted to development officer for the School of Applied Sciences, a position that will encourage private gifts designated for student scholarships, faculty research and general operating expenses.
“I will strive to maximize financial gift support to the school by seeking private contributions that will help increase the margin of excellence in educational and research programs,” he said. “I am fully committed to providing exceptional fundraising services, giving counsel to donors and prospective donors, and helping the leadership of the School of Applied Sciences.”
Wakefield, who received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Ole Miss in 2014 and an MBA in 2015, is the new assistant director of annual giving. Her role includes overseeing telephone solicitations and meeting with donors across all schools and academic initiatives to encourage annual giving.
“I am proud of the constant strides our university makes toward better living our creed,” Wakefield said, referring to a statement in the UM Creed. “I believe in good stewardship of our resources. We are so grateful to have such incredible donors who are deeply committed to Ole Miss, and we work to ensure every gift is directed as the donor wishes.
“You only have to look around our vibrant, progressive campus or meet our talented students to see the impact of private resources.”