Endowment Turns Tragedy Into Hope

UM scholarship for business students honors life of young alumnus

The family of the late Jacques Allain (second from right) have established a scholarship in his honor to benefit freshmen from Texas and Louisiana in the School of Business Administration. They are (from left) his sister, Camille; mom, Jeanne; and dad, Moe. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Jeanne and Moe Allain, of Houston, Texas, are memorializing their son, Jacques, a 2020 University of Mississippi graduate who died suddenly at home on July 24, 2022, with a new endowment in the School of Business Administration.

The Jacques Allain Memorial Scholarship Endowment will be awarded to freshmen in the business school from Texas or Louisiana and majoring in business administration or finance, the fields that Jacques Allain pursued during his time at the university.

The idea for the endowment came up as the Allain family recalled the experiences they had with Jacques when they visited Oxford.

“Whether we were attending an Ole Miss football or baseball game or gathering for a meal on the Square, it was always a good time,” Moe Allain said. “Jacques wanted to be great in his field, and I thought establishing a scholarship would be one of the best ways to remember him and honor his legacy forever.”

Jacques Allain had his eyes on Ole Miss from the first day he and his family visited for a tour. As a Louisiana native and Louisiana State University alumnus, Moe Allain wanted to steer his son in the direction of his alma mater, but his efforts were to no avail. As they drove back home to Houston, Jacques said he was sold on Ole Miss.

Jacques Allain attends an Ole Miss baseball game during his time as a UM student. Submitted photo

“He fell in love with the campus and the people, and we didn’t visit any other schools after that,” his father recalled.

While Jacques was a student at Ole Miss, his younger sister, Camille, attended the University of Arkansas. They spent several weekends taking turns visiting each other’s campuses, sharing SEC traditions they had learned and indulging in one another’s favorite local food spots.

Jacques was heavily involved with Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, an organization that was entwined with his experience at Ole Miss and served as a gateway for Allain to volunteer in the community, where he mentored students at Lafayette and Oxford high schools through the nonprofit group Moneythink. He was a member of the Financiers Club through the business school, majoring in managerial finance and earning a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Post-graduation, Jacques Allain continued to be entrenched in the world of finance, with his last position as a financial analyst for Sysco, a wholesale restaurant food distributor. He was excited by the role, regularly participating in calls with the CFO of the multinational company, his parents said.

Jacques Allain knew how to have fun but equally took his studies seriously, his father said. For the scholarship, his parents hope to see it awarded to students who share similar qualities and have an interest in the financial field.

“We’re hoping that the award winners embrace the field, pay it forward and also do some mentoring,” Moe Allain said. “We really want them to make a mark in that field in the future.”

The endowment is a legacy of Jacques Allain’s life and contributions, said Madison Drake, associate director of development for the School of Business Administration.

“By establishing the Jacques Allain Memorial Scholarship Endowment, the Allain family turned their tragedy into a way to help many deserving banking and finance students for years to come,” she said.

To make a gift to the Jacques Allain Memorial Scholarship Endowment, click here or send a check with the fund’s name noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford MS 38655. For information, contact Angela Brown, senior director of development for the School of Business Administration, at browna@olemiss.edu or 662-915-3181.