STARKVILLE — Continuing close ties with Mississippi State University (MSU), a Houston, Texas, couple is providing $500,000 to the university for recruiting and retaining high-caliber business faculty members.
MSU alumnus James J. Rouse and wife, Julia, are endowing a management professorship in the College of Business. Earnings from the gift will support the academic position.
“We wanted to establish an endowed professorship specifically in the management department, because that was my major,” said Jim Rouse, a 1962 industrial management graduate and retired ExxonMobil Corp. vice president. “Endowed positions give the university an extra edge in attracting and retaining outstanding faculty, which is critical to ensuring that MSU students get the best education possible.”
Jim Rouse was born in Libertyville, Ill., and reared in Germantown, Tenn. The former Julia Ann Bennett of Laurel attended Mississippi University for Women and is a former first-grade teacher. They married in 1962 and are the parents of two daughters.
The Rouses also have been major supporters of MSU athletics. Several years ago, they funded construction of a 9,000-square-foot strength and conditioning room at the Holliman Athletic Center.
Additionally, they have donated a 1929 Ford Model-A Roadster. The maroon-and-white two-door convertible is used by the Division of Student Affairs for campus recruiting and related activities.