Gift benefits MSU work in agricultural real estate

Author: Alaina Dismukes

John M. Dean and George Hopper

John M. Dean, left, a 1966 agribusiness alumnus, received a 2016 alumni achievement award from MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean George Hopper during the annual alumni breakfast. (Photo by Karen Brasher)

A Mississippi State alumnus is establishing an endowed agricultural real estate professorship and creating an infinite impact through MSU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

With a bequest in his will, John M. Dean creates the John M. Dean Jr. Endowed Professorship in Agricultural Real Estate.

A 1966 agribusiness graduate and 2016 winner of an MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni achievement award, Dean is owner and operator of Leland-based Landmart: A Dean Land & Realty Company.

"Mr. Dean is passionate about the need to educate students on land evaluations in agricultural real estate," said Will Staggers, CALS assistant director of development. "He sought creative options to ensure that his investment will strengthen the Department of Agricultural Economics well into the future."

Staggers also pointed out that this endowed professorship dedicated to agricultural real estate will further enhance student learning.

"This is a niche area that is extremely relevant for future graduates," he said. "This professorship will enhance our students' exposure to tax evaluation analysis for farm land, agricultural real estate, as well as resource land use economics."

Keith Coble, MSU professor and head of agricultural economics, said the gift will have an important impact on the department and beyond.

"This endowment will help retain and attract a faculty member with expertise in this area and also will support teaching and extension efforts related to agricultural finance and real estate," Coble said. "All of Mississippi agriculture will benefit."

Dean said he began to realize a few years after he graduated the exceptional benefits and contacts made possible through his educational experience at Mississippi State.

"I made the decision then to give back financially to the university at the appropriate time when my career would allow. I felt the need to designate my gift toward enhancing an undergraduate course concentration for careers related to aspects of agricultural real estate," he said.

Dean consulted with the MSU Foundation to make the bequest in his will, which allows him to leave a lasting legacy at the university.

"I cannot say enough about the helpful guidance and professionalism exhibited by staff in the Mississippi State University Foundation who helped me through this process," Dean said. "They are, and will continue to be, a credit to the university and its success."

Date: 2019-03-26

Agricultural Economics