Students studying outside the library

Author Pierce to speak Tuesday at Wofford opening program

Alumnus received NY Times acclaim for short story collection

Thomas Pierce 382x255
Thomas Pierce '06

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Acclaimed author and Wofford College alumnus Thomas Pierce will be the featured speaker at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, for the college’s opening convocation. The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building.

Opening convocation marks the beginning of the new academic year. Classes at Wofford begin on Monday, Sept. 5.

View the video of the program here:

Last year, the New York Times called Pierce’s short story collection “Hall of Small Mammals” “beautifully built” and said the 2006 Wofford graduate “has an especially deft way of finding just the right final flourish.”

His “originality, inventiveness, questing spiritual intelligence and animal fixation aren’t easy to do justice to in the limited space here,” wrote Books of The Times reviewer Janet Maslin. “But they’re irrefutably good reasons to discover him for yourself.”

Pierce’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Oxford American, Subtropics and elsewhere. He has reported for National Geographic and for NPR programs, including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”

Born and raised in South Carolina, Pierce received history and English degrees from Wofford and earned his M.F.A. from the University of Virginia as a Poe/Faulkner Fellow. While at Wofford, Pierce was the 2004-05 Presidential International Scholar and authored “said the dark fishes,” winner of the Benjamin Wofford Prize for fiction writing.

Pierce also received NPR’s prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship, an intensive training program designed to bring exceptional graduates into public radio and journalism. Following the fellowship, he stayed on as a producer, blogger and reporter.

“Hall of Small Mammals” was published in 2015 by Riverhead Books.

Pierce and his wife and daughter live in Charlottesville, Va.