Chip Crunk is no stranger to the University of Mississippi campus.
“I’m up here at least once a month trying to give back, trying to do the right things and help young people better themselves,” said Crunk, president and CEO of the RJ Young Company of Nashville, Tennessee.
The 1987 UM graduate and his wife, Gina, recently made a $500,000 gift to Ole Miss Athletics, the latest of many gifts to his alma mater.
“That’s the reason you work hard — so you have the ability to give back to help young people have better opportunities to attend college and be proud of what the university has to offer,” Crunk said. “I want to see young people have the opportunity to better themselves.”
Crunk is also no stranger to hard work. He started his career with RJ Young at age 14, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, mopping and taking out the trash.
After graduating from Ole Miss, Crunk returned to the company as a sales representative. He became director of sales in 1989, then executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 1995, he took the reins and led RJ Young to see double-digit annual growth.
Providing technology services and office solutions for small- to enterprise-level businesses across every industry, the multimillion-dollar company now ranks as the largest, privately held dealer in the Southeast and one of the largest in the nation. Crunk oversees an operation that covers eight states and employs more than 650 people in 30 locations.
“We are so grateful to Chip and Gina for their commitment to the University of Mississippi and specifically to Ole Miss Athletics,” said Keith Carter, vice chancellor of intercollegiate athletics. “This type of leadership gift shows the Crunks’ commitment to helping us make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes.
“Gifts like these are inspiring to others who may be considering whether the timing is right to give back to Ole Miss,” Carter continued. “Other potential donors will see Chip and Gina leading the way toward increased support and hopefully feel that they want to contribute too.”
In addition to his interest in opportunities for student-athletes, Crunk said he is equally determined to see the School of Business Administration grow in national stature. A longtime member of the Business School’s Advisory Board, he now serves as president.
Crunk is also a member and past president of the Copier Dealers Association, along with serving on both the Canon USA and Ricoh Corporation copier dealer counsels. He is active in church, community and civic organizations and enjoys flying, boating, golfing and cheering for the Rebels and Tennessee Titans.
The Crunks live in Brentwood, Tennessee, and have two children, Trey, a first year student at Ole Miss and Caroline, an Ole Miss alumna.
By Bill Dabney