One of the pieces of advice I share with students is the power of networking. I don’t mean the ubiquitous social media platforms such as Instagram or facebook, but the face-to-face interactions that can provide limitless opportunities, particularly when it is an a-ha moment linked to a common interest or goal. I met Pat Pierce through her friendship with Bay Path University Trustee Emerita Roberta Bolduc. We immediately connected over the Bay Path mission. In fact, on her retirement after a very successful career at an investment firm, Pat had penned a personal mission statement focusing on helping women that seemed to be tailored made for Bay Path. In 2008, she began her relationship with Bay Path by serving on the Board of Trustees and was a member of the investments subcommittee. Her years of experience in the financial industry were indispensable, and I thank her for her wise counsel in this area. Yet, it was her consistent and unwavering support of initiatives for women that became her hallmark. Whether it was underwriting the One America Trips, providing financial assistance for adult women students to attend the Women’s Leadership Conference, establishing a scholarship in her name, or financing online laboratory software (Labster) for The American Women’s College, we could also count on Pat to be there for the students. Beyond her legacy gift to Bay Path, her true legacy is the number of women’s lives she has touched in countless ways in and out of the classroom. On behalf of the University and our students, we are grateful for her time, treasure and talent, particularly as Chair of the Board of Bay Path University. We have been truly blessed!
Could you share a bit about your life journey and career?
Most important to my background was an excellent education and an introduction to investing when I was young. When I was 14 years old, my grandfather taught me how to select stocks for a “pretend” portfolio of $1 million. Later, when attending a prestigious midwestern university, I majored in mathematics and economics. These provided the foundation for a 32-year career in investment management.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud of the fact that I survived and thrived in a career that was populated by very few women. The investment returns of equity portfolios that I managed consistently exceeded those of the male investment professionals in my firm and many of those on Wall Street.
What is one regret that you have in your career?
The only regret of my career is that I did not mentor a woman in the investment business. There were very few women who were interested in investing at that time. Those who had aspirations went to Wall Street to work in the big firms. My career was centered in a small firm in Philadelphia so the opportunity never presented itself.
What advice would you give to students at Bay Path who are setting out on their own life journey?
Always maintain your credibility. Don’t compromise the truth. Be honest with yourself.