Mississippi State Alumnus awarded National Alumnus of the Year

Feb 12, 2012

EPSILON EPSILON (Mississippi State) — Mississippi State University will soon be honoring James “Jim” Rouse, Mississippi State ’59, with its highest honor of National Alumnus of the Year award.

In an article by Mississipi State University’s News Bureau:
Mississippi State University is honoring a former oil company executive and 1962 industrial management graduate with its highest alumni honor.

In Feb. 10 campus ceremonies, James J. “Jim” Rouse of Houston, Texas, will receive the 2012 National Alumnus of the Year award. A Libertyville, Ill., native who was reared in Germantown, Tenn., he retired in 2004 as corporate vice president of ExxonMobil.

Rouse, who entered MSU as a freshman in 1958, was a member of Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity, president of the Interfraternity Council and cadet brigade commander for the Army ROTC. By graduation, he was a selection for Who’s Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

After receiving his degree, Rouse joined Humble Oil and Refining Co., which later became Exxon USA. He took two years of military leave to serve as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, then rejoined the company to serve in various Exxon positions around the country. Over his career, he worked in marketing, supply and transportation, human resources, and government relations.

An active volunteer for his alma mater, Rouse is president of the MSU Foundation board of directors. He also serves on boards of the Bulldog Club and Alumni Association, as well as the dean’s advisory board in the College of Business, where he was the 2010 selection for alumnus of the year.

While at MSU, he met Julia Ann Bennett of Laurel, an elementary education major at Mississippi University for Women in nearby Columbus. They married in 1962 and have two daughters, Lisa and Connie.

In 2009, he and Julia created an endowed professorship in the management department at MSU. The couple also has funded a 9,000-square-foot weight room in the Holliman Athletic Center and donated a 1929 Model-A Roadster now used in campus events.

Most recently, a gift from the Rouses is supporting a strength and conditioning center in the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex, now under construction.


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