Last summer, the unthinkable happened to Jeanne and Moe Allain. Their son, Jacques, brother to Camille Allain, passed away unexpectedly at home in Houston, Texas, on July 24, 2022, at the age of 25.
Now the Allains are memorializing the 2020 University of Mississippi graduate with a new endowment in the School of Business Administration.
The Jacques Allain Memorial Scholarship Endowment will be awarded to freshmen from Texas or Louisiana enrolled in the business school 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.
“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 the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, an organization that was entwined with his experience at Ole Miss. His dad said that the college student “would do anything for his friends.”
“It didn’t matter if his friend called him up at 2 o’clock in the morning. We heard a lot of those stories when we were doing his Celebration of Life,” Moe Allain said. “There were some things we didn’t know about. We didn’t know how good of a friend he was until his friends told us. That was important for us to hear.”
The fraternity also served as a gateway for Allain to volunteer in the local community, mentoring 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 degree.
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.”
An Ignite campaign, a crowdfunding platform through Ole Miss, will begin in May for the endowment, said Madison Drake, associate director of development for the UM School of Business Administration.
“They’re such gracious people for having gone through this process,” Drake said. “Jacques was involved on campus in many ways, and the campaign and endowment serve as a way to honor his life and contributions.”
“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,” Drake added. “We are so grateful to the Allain family for their investment in the future of Ole Miss Business students. Jacques’ legacy will continue to live on through the creation of this endowment.”
In addition to his academic success and accomplishments in business, the young man is remembered by his family for being a die-hard sports fan.
“We’ve incidentally adopted the Rebels as our college team now,” Moe Allain said. “But our house has become quiet during the SEC football season and during the Astros season. We just miss him.”
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 email@example.com or 662-915-3181.
By Andy Belt/UM Foundation