2024 Alumni Award Honoree - Brianna Douglas

    2024 Alumni Award Honoree - Brianna Douglas


    Brianna Douglas has been awarded the 2024 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Coker University.

    Brianna, a graduate of Coker University’s class of 2002, continues to create a lasting impact defined by community leadership and dedicated service. As the Executive Director of The Byerly Foundation, she is perfectly positioned to make a considerable impact in Hartsville, SC, leveraging her passion for her hometown to advance education, promote economic growth, and meet the vital social needs of the people in Hartsville. Her journey, propelled by her formative experiences at Coker University, is an inspiring testament to the transformative power of the Coker experience. 

    Brianna often looks back fondly at her time at Coker. For her, the institution was fertile ground for personal growth, academic accomplishment and cherished relationships. Amidst the rigors of her academic life, she had the opportunity to meet and connect with people from all walks of life, building friendships that have stood the test of time. One of these friends was more than a companion — Bruce, a 2003 Coker graduate, and Brianna married in 2004. They have two children, McKendrie (18) and Lila (13), and live in Hartsville. 

    Coker University also significantly contributed to her professional success. Academically, the university equipped her with knowledge and the skills to think critically and creatively problem solve – tools that she believes set her up for success in her current role and beyond. The dynamic learning environment prepared her to face challenges head-on and encouraged a sense of lifelong learning. Brianna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Coker University, an MBA from the University of North Florida, and a Ph.D. in Education from Colorado State University. Her research focuses on how university, government and industry leaders can enhance economic development through effective collaboration. 

    Brianna feels extremely fortunate to have experienced a university life filled with memorable experiences, enduring life lessons and building lifelong relationships. Today, as she navigates the exciting challenges of being a community leader and in her daily life as a wife, mom, and friend, she often finds herself leaning on the wisdom, resilience and camaraderie that her time at Coker University instilled in her.