UM Names Senior Director of Gift Planning

Byron Liles works to assist individuals with estate, financial goals

Byron Liles

OXFORD, Miss. – As the new senior director of gift planning for University Development, Byron Liles hopes to use his expertise and passion to help alumni and friends expand their legacies at the University of Mississippi.

“I’m excited to build partnerships on and off campus and to be an advocate for the life-changing opportunities that supporting Ole Miss can provide for current and future students,” Liles said. “Helping those who love Ole Miss see the happiness and significance that smart and meaningful philanthropy can provide is the reason I continue to work in gift planning.”

Giving a gift to UM as part of long-term estate and financial goals supports students and programs far into the future, while still providing for a donor’s loved ones. Numerous ways are available to contribute to the university through planned giving, and Liles is committed to working with donors to navigate through the options.

“If I could impart one thing to the friends and alumni of Ole Miss, it would be that planned giving is simply not as scary or complicated as one may think,” he said. “Partnering team members on campus with your advisers can often reap benefits to this great university that one may have never considered.

“These gifts can be used to support Ole Miss scholarships, academic and athletic programs, student experiences or many other opportunities to help transform the institution and the students who attend.”

A native of Bartlett, Tennessee, Liles began his career in the nonprofit sector at Ducks Unlimited Inc., which is North America’s largest wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. He also recently served as the director of gift and estate planning at the University of Texas, which deepened his love for his work.

“My time at UT cemented my desire to continue helping people be efficient and impactful in their philanthropy to institutions of higher education,” Liles said.

Liles’s expertise will contribute to the growth of UM, said Susan Boyette, executive director of central development.

“Byron’s deep understanding of building relationships with donors combined with his advanced technical skills in deferred and planning giving make him an invaluable addition to the University Development team,” she said. “We could not be happier to have someone with his breadth of experience and understanding of raising funds in higher education on our team.”

While Liles is a graduate of the University of Memphis, his “better half,” Robin, completed both her graduate and undergraduate work at Ole Miss. They are both excited about returning to Oxford, where they will be busy wrangling their four rescue dogs: Sonny, Marley, Kat and Stringer.

“Ole Miss has a reputation that speaks for itself as a top-tier research institution and a transformational force in the lives of Mississippians,” Liles said. “Anyone would be honored to represent such a storied university.

“It is an honor working with supporters of Ole Miss to help them provide for a place that has oftentimes provided so much for them.”

For more information on utilizing estate and financial planning to support the university, contact Liles at byron@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7601. Individuals also can learn more about planned giving opportunities at https://give.olemiss.edu/.