Ernie Hughes

Ernie Hughes, Vice President for Advancement

Winona State University announces the appointment of Ernie Hughes to the position of Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the WSU Foundation.

Hughes looks forward to becoming a part of the innovation and forward thinking that is a hallmark of the Winona State culture. “One of the keys for any university today is to show collaboration and to align curriculum to the needs of the community,” said Hughes. “With projects like the Education Village, WSU is listening to what’s going on in the State of Minnesota and in the community of Winona, and I can’t wait to be part of that discussion, to become part of the community of learners improving our world.”

Hughes describes WSU as a student-focused, community-responsive university and said he is excited to spend time getting to know the campus and community while helping to develop and instill strategic institutional vision and values.

Hughes most recently served as Director of Community Economic Development for the Southern University System in Louisiana. Prior to this appointment he served in roles as Vice President for Advancement, Special Assistant to the President, and Executive Director of the Southern University System Foundation; and Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Community Development Specialist for the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Hughes holds a Ph.D. in human resource development from Louisiana State University, an M.B.A. with specialization in marketing from Mississippi State University, and a B.B.A. in finance and logistics from Mississippi State University.

“Dr. Hughes brings with him with more than 20 years of experience in higher education,” said WSU President Scott R. Olson. “His reputation for fostering collaboration and sustainable partnerships is well-suited to our mission in the Advancement Office and for the university at large.”

Hughes will assume the position of vice president Aug. 11. He will replace Gary Evans, who has served as Interim Vice President for Advancement since June 2013.

For more information, call the WSU Communications Office at 507-457-5024.

About the WSU Foundation The Winona State Foundation was chartered in 1963 as a non-profit corporation to support the advancement of Winona State University. The Foundation works to fund educational programs to help meet the changing needs of students, faculty, and staff, with special emphasis placed on scholarship awards to students. Throughout its 50-year history, the Foundation, its volunteers and its benefactors have remained committed to supporting academic excellence and helped thousands of students in the pursuit of higher education. Learn more about the WSU Foundation (

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Andrea Northam

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