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Support Fund Strengthens UM Biomedical Engineering Program
UM Foundation CEO Wendell Weakley (left) greets James Stewart, whose recent gift will help support a state-of-the-art Department of Biomedical Engineering at the university.

James Stewart’s gift of $100,000 to the University of Mississippi will establish the James C. Stewart Biomedical Engineering Program Support Fund in the first and only department of its kind in the state.

Stewart of Houston, Texas, who earned a UM degree in electrical engineering in 1984, seeks to enable a state-of-the-art Department of Biomedical Engineering that creates jobs and expands business opportunities in Mississippi and beyond.

“My degree allowed me to be a very successful businessperson,” said Stewart. “I want to give back to the engineering school because they’ve started an innovative program, and I’ve always been interested in leading-edge medical technology.”

The Biomedical Engineering Program combines the design and problem-solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to advance healthcare treatment.

“The generous gift to biomedical engineering from Mr. Stewart will help expose students to the broad biomedical field through opportunities such as traveling to national conferences, organizing speaker workshops and providing additional funding to promote undergraduate research,” said Dwight Waddell, biomedical department chair. “Gifts like this allow the department and faculty to fill out the educational experience and create well-rounded young engineers.”

In  the Department of Biomedical Engineering, students are prepared for the integrative world of bioengineering, where technology and medicine meet. Students choose an emphasis of study in biomolecular engineering, biodevices or bioinformatics.

“I think the University of Mississippi has a leading-edge biomedical program that attracts top students, so I want to help provide all the things that are needed to be able to sustain a first-class, top-tier biomedical program,” said Stewart.

Upon graduation, Stewart began his career with Schlumberger Limited, where he held leadership positions across the globe. He went on to serve as vice president of Integrated Drilling Services for Weatherford International PLC, based in London and Dubai, and previously served as president and CEO of a privately held international drilling company.

Stewart advises private equity investors on upstream oil and gas investments and serves as a director of NexTier Oilfield Solutions, which he co-founded in 2011, formerly serving as chair and CEO from 2011-2019.

The James C. Stewart Biomedical Engineering Program Support Fund is open to support from organizations and individuals. Gifts can be made by sending a check, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655 or by giving online at

For information on supporting the School of Engineering, contact Greg Carter, development officer, at or 662-915-1849.

By Alyssa Garza/UM Foundation


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.