Give Light Impact: An Alum Honors His Mother, Supports Future Students

May 21, 2024
Matthew Pierce with his mother

Before Matthew Pierce (BBA ’09) enrolled at Baylor, he had a conversation with his mother about how they would fund his undergraduate education. Unsure of where the money would come from, Pierce’s mother reassured him that God would give him more on the journey than at the start.

“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 is now a financial professional who recently opened his own company: Pierce Analytics. He also 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 in 2022. The gift honors his mother, Marsha Pierce-Tomlin, and supports students in the Honors College, where Pierce earned his degree as a student in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC).

“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 further to recognize and honor his mother's 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 was a part of the Hord Scholarship Challenge, established by Dan and Jenni Hord of Midland, Texas, during the Give Light philanthropic campaign to rally significant new scholarship support to students who have demonstrated academic success in high school and possess financial need. Pierce’s gift is part of a significant response from the Baylor Family to make a Baylor education more accessible and affordable. 

For Pierce, it’s also about encouraging recipients to consider how they can help those who follow in their footsteps.

“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.”

The Marsha Pierce-Tomlin Endowed Scholarship is one of 864 scholarships established by the Baylor Family during Give Light. The generosity of the Baylor Family will have a lasting impact in support of future Bears as they meet the financial needs of deserving students and make a Baylor education more affordable for all the ages to come.