Last week, Northwestern State University lost a remarkable individual who dedicated his life to university advancement and ambassadorship. Jerry Pierce was well-known throughout the state of Louisiana for his Journalistic skills, storytelling abilities, and deep Legislative connections that assisted Northwestern in securing funding for many capital projects throughout his service to the University. We are deeply saddened about the passing of Jerry, who served as a confidant and trusted advisor to nine presidents of Northwestern State University, and we know his memory will live on forever in the hearts and minds of all the people he touched during his lifetime.

Mr. Pierce’s passing requires a thoughtful process to assist in the oversight of the areas he supervised for so many years. Pending approval from the ULS Board of Supervisors, Dr. Drake Owens will be appointed to serve as Interim Executive Vice President of External Affairs that encompass Public Information & Media Relations, NSU Press Publications, University Advancement, Robert W. Wilson Recreation Complex, and Economic Development, Innovation, and Outreach.

In addition, Cole Gentry, Executive Assistant to the President and Director of Strategic Initiatives, will manage University Marketing and Branding, and as President, I will supervise Intercollegiate Athletics and the Wellness, Recreation, and Activity Center.

I appreciate your continued diligence and commitment to ensure a bright future for Northwestern State University. Please feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.

Dr. Marcus D. Jones
Northwestern State University