Stevens gives the gift of experience

Stevens gives the gift of experience

Cynthia M. Stevens

For Mississippi State University alumna Cynthia M. “Cindy” Stevens, experience has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving. Stevens has established a travel fund within the College of Arts and Sciences. The Cynthia M. Stevens Washington D.C. Travel Fund will be used at the discretion of the dean of the college to provide additional financial assistance for students studying pre-law, government or public policy and administration. This travel fund will allow students opportunities to gain a first-hand understanding of how global, domestic and regional issues are handled at the Capitol. Through visits to various institutions, students will be able to see how these areas operate on a day-to-day basis.

“By investing in the education and future of Mississippi State students, I hope to make a lasting impact on their lives and contribute to the continued growth and success of the university that has given me so much,” Stevens said.

This valuable experience will offer students the chance to build professional connections, engage in experiential learning and gain a deeper understanding of the various roles and functions of government, including legislative, political and public administration positions. These opportunities could pave the way for future careers. The eligible students who attend may gain new perspectives on potential career paths after having first-hand experience in fields they might not have previously considered.

“My hope is that this travel fund will serve as a launchpad for future political leaders, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a meaningful impact in their communities,” Stevens said.

A 1983 political science graduate and Louisville native, Stevens is an accomplished executive, professional services partner and strategist with over 30 years of experience in business and government relations. Her resume includes service as director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and legislative director for the U.S. House of Representatives. Stevens later served as director of government affairs for the Greater Washington Board of Trade, being selected as the first director of government relations to establish a new federal department within the board.

In 2018, Stevens retired as the longtime managing principal of government relations for Deloitte LLP, where she was responsible for the firm’s federal and state legislative affairs. Her expertise in developing and maintaining strong professional relationships with governors, members of Congress and the Administration, executive branch agencies and staff who serve on committees that have influence over the accounting profession is one of her many accomplishments.

At MSU, Stevens has served on the boards of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government, MSU Foundation, and the College of Arts and Sciences. She was honored as the college’s Alumni Fellow in 2010 and Alumna of the Year in 2019. A longtime supporter of the university, her previous investments have benefitted student scholarships, faculty support and Bulldog athletics, among other areas. She also established the Cynthia M. Stevens Endowed Political Science and Public Administration Department Head Suite in Bowen Hall through an endowed gift in 2019.

“During my time as a student at MSU, I was fortunate to be surrounded by passionate professors, dedicated mentors and a vibrant community of fellow learners,” Stevens said. “These connections and resources enabled me to grow both personally and professionally, shaping my values and guiding my ambitions. It was this supportive environment that inspired me to give back to the university and support future generations of MSU students.”

Because of the transformative experience Stevens had as a student, she is committed to “paying it forward.” She hopes her investments at MSU will provide students similar opportunities to learn, grow and make a difference.