School of Applied Sciences

The University of Mississippi

Meet Applied Sciences Development Officer R. Matthew Porchivina III

Posted on January 21st, 2016 by staff

First off, you’re the brand new Development Officer for the School of Applied Sciences. What does your job entail exactly?

My job entails articulating the critical role of private philanthropy to the School of Applied Sciences and the vast opportunities for voluntary support in the life of the University of Mississippi. I will strive to maximize the financial gift support to the School by seeking private contributions that will help increase the margin of excellence in educational and research programs. I am fully committed to providing exceptional fundraising services, giving counsel to donor and prospective donors, as well as helping the leadership of the School of Applied Sciences.

You’re a UM graduate, but you’re not originally from Mississippi. Where did you grow up?

I am originally from Novato, California. Located in Marin County, Novato sits between the city of San Francisco and the Napa Valley. It is the complete opposite of Oxford, but an amazing place in its own right. Growing up in Novato and attending Ole Miss, those experiences have allowed me to appreciate different parts of the country and meet fascinating people who live in those regions.

After graduation, you decided to stay in Oxford and at Ole Miss. What is it about the Oxford-University community that made you want to make this your home?

 Ole Miss is an exceptional university that truly makes you feel like you are part of a family – a very close, nurturing family. Between that warm and welcoming atmosphere, Ole Miss Athletics, and the culinary, art, and musical offerings of Oxford, I’m not quite sure there is a better college town in America. The way the Ole Miss campus and City of Oxford are able to work together in harmony makes it a unique and amazing place.

Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Your job is connected with the University of Mississippi Foundation, which largely helps with fundraising, stewardship, and crowdfunding. What aspects of this environment do you enjoy the most?

My great passion is to help others give back to a university that they love dearly and are excited to support through a variety of different ways. I particularly like to match each person’s passions and interests with specific needs on this campus. Also, seeing Ole Miss alumni and friends honor loved ones or help with student scholarships is extremely rewarding. That kind of career experience is what drove me to get involved as a student intern with the UM Foundation.

Crowdfunding is an incredible new tool I have grown fond of, where you can see the results of so many individuals from different backgrounds come together to support a cause through the power of modern technology. If you haven’t visited, I highly recommend you check out some of the great projects that can be accomplished with the power of crowdfunding – that is, the collective power that occurs when gifts of all sizes combine to make a dramatic impact on a very specific initiative.

As far as Applied Sciences is concerned, what do you find exciting about this School?

The School of Applied Sciences is the fastest growing School on the Ole Miss campus. It is easy to see how the School of Applied Sciences has experienced such a spectacular evolution since its creation, focusing on the human and health services aspect of helping communities, the region and nation. With programs like the Institute of Child Nutrition, the new Ph.D. program in Nutrition and Hospitality Management, Social Work, the School of Applied Sciences is focused on the well-being of others and it inspires me to become part of that worthy mission.

And everyone calls you “Porch,” right? 

My full name is Rudolph Matthew Porchivina III, but I always grew up Matthew. Around middle school, the nickname Porch starting popping up on the sports field and it has stuck ever since. I always introduce myself as Matthew, but I let folks know my friends call me Porch. I would like each of you to be one of my friends.


For questions regarding fundraising and potential donations, contact Matthew Porchivina by e-mail at or by phone at (662)-915-1584.