BIC Alumnus Honors Mother through Hord Challenge Scholarship
“Before my freshman year, I knew it was my responsibility to find scholarships to finance my education, but my mom made sure I knew that we would find a way to get me through Baylor,” Pierce said. “I started my education not really knowing how I would reach the finish line, but I knew I at least had to start. As I continued, slowly but surely scholarships came my way, which made all the difference.”
Fast-forward to today, and Pierce, who currently serves as Senior Vice President at Truist Financial, is determined to give back to Baylor students who may not know where their next tuition payment is coming from.
Out of this desire, Pierce established the Marsha Pierce-Tomlin Endowed Scholarship, a Hord Challenge Scholarship, which honors his mother Marsha Pierce-Tomlin and supports students in the Honors College.
“My goal at the very least is to help change the situations of students like myself,” Pierce said. “Every dollar matters to some students, and I hope that I can give of my time and resources to create new opportunities for students at Baylor.”
Pierce established this scholarship in honor of his mother to recognize her passions for family, education, philanthropy, and faith—qualities she instilled as a single-mother to Matthew and his brother Alex.
“Growing up, it was just me, my brother, and my mom,” Pierce said. “My mom earned her engineering degree from Texas A&M University and was one of the early African American women to be in the engineering program. My brother and I saw her achievements as the goal, or at least the minimum of what we should achieve. She was able to accomplish so much with much less, and honoring her with this scholarship is just one way of showing her what an inspiration she has been to me and my brother.”
Pierce’s scholarship gift is part of the Hord Scholarship Challenge, established by Dan and Jenni Hord of Midland, Texas, in order to rally significant new scholarship support to students who have demonstrated academic success in high school and possess financial need.
“Matthew’s gratitude for his education, and his generosity to those following him as Baylor Bears, are a testimony to a fine character shaped by his dear mother and further cultivated during his time in the Honors College,” Honors College Dean Douglas Henry said. “We’re proud of the ways his BIC education enriched and enlarged his vision, and we look forward watching future generations of students receive similar opportunities because of his scholarship gift."
According to Pierce, his time in the BIC was transformational, and he hopes students who receive this scholarship are encouraged to give back to future generations of Honors College students.
“The BIC program was one of my favorite parts of my time at Baylor, and completely changed the way I view the world,” Pierce said. “As students who receive this scholarship go on to do great things, I hope they remember to reach backwards as they are climbing the ladder. It is everyone’s responsibility to help those behind them, and I hope receiving this scholarship instills that desire in each recipient.”