STARKVILLE, Miss.—Further enhancing their longtime support of Mississippi State University, Jim and Julia Rouse of Houston, Texas, have recently made new contributions designated for the Presidential Endowed Scholarship awards and the MSU Foundation Ambassadors student organization.
“Presidential Endowed Scholarships provide high-achieving students a four-year college experience that is second to none,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “We are grateful that Jim and Julia Rouse are helping Mississippi State compete successfully with prestigious institutions across the nation to bring these outstanding students to our campus.”
A 2012 MSU National Alumnus, Jim Rouse is a 1962 MSU industrial management graduate who spent 42 years with ExxonMobil Corp. before retiring as vice president in 2004. He is a native of Libertyville, Illinois, who grew up in Germantown, Tennessee. Julia Rouse is a former first-grade teacher and Laurel native who attended the Mississippi University for Women.
The couple’s $500,000 endowment will establish the Jim and Julia Rouse Presidential Endowed Scholarship. At MSU, Presidential Endowed Scholarships are prestigious awards made possible through separate private gifts, and are awarded on a four-year basis, given the recipients maintain certain academic criteria. Currently, 46 MSU scholars are receiving Presidential Endowed Scholarships, which help recruit the best students nationwide.
Additionally, a $50,000 contribution from the Rouses will increase the MSU Foundation Ambassadors Excellence Fund, an annual fund previously established by them in 2012. The fund fosters the mission of the Foundation Ambassadors, a student organization launched in 2011 to enhance the relationship between the Foundation, students and other groups through various functions and special events that create awareness of philanthropy at MSU.
“The generosity of Jim and Julia Rouse has made our ever-growing goals more attainable for our organization,” said Thomas Sherman, Foundation Ambassador president and senior marketing major from Greenville. “With this gift, we will have the opportunity to reach more students than we ever dreamed possible. We are eternally grateful to the Rouses for their continuous support.”
Among the Rouses’ previous gifts to MSU are two endowments for faculty positions–the Jim and Julia Rouse Endowed Professorship and the Julia Bennett Rouse Endowed Professorship–in the College of Business, and funding for athletic facility enhancements, specifically a weight room in the Holliman Athletic Center, a strengthening and conditioning area in the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex, and an entry gate in the recent expansion of Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field.
In addition to their philanthropic support, the Rouses actively volunteer their time and service to the university. A current member of the MSU Foundation Board, of which he is a past president, Jim also is a past member of the boards of the Alumni Association and the Bulldog Club, and the dean’s advisory board in the College of Business.