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$1 Million Gift from Tom and Mary James to Endow Finance Professorship

posted on 06/12/2006

Prominent Tampa Bay business leader Thomas A. James, chairman and chief executive officer of Raymond James Financial, and his wife, Mary, have given a $1 million gift to Eckerd College to endow a finance professorship. The gift will be named the James Professorship in Finance.

One-fifth of Eckerd's graduates major or minor in a business-related course: business administration, management, business commerce, economics, human resources, finance, international business, and marketing.

"Eckerd College is particularly qualified to deliver a combination of an excellent liberal arts education and practical skills that are necessary in today's world," said Mr. James. "Mary and I are thrilled to fund a professorship at Eckerd. I have always admired the faculty-student mentor relationship at Eckerd and the real value-added experience it provides to students who will become mature graduates."

Mr. and Mrs. James have been supporters of Eckerd for over two decades. Mr. James served on the College's board of trustees from 1985-1991. In 1983, he established the Robert A. James Memorial Endowed Scholarship, one of the largest endowed scholarships at Eckerd College. Three years later, Raymond James Financial established the Raymond James and Associates Annual Scholarship for students with an interest in business.

"I can think of no better business leader than Tom James for our students to emulate," said Donald R. Eastman III, president of Eckerd College. "We are grateful for Tom and Mary's support that will help take this fine institution to the next level."

This past January, Mr. James was voted by his peers as the year's top business leader in the St. Petersburg Times annual survey of regional business leadership. Mr. James is chairman of the Heritage Family of Funds, and Raymond James Bank, FSB, and has served as a director of numerous other public corporations. He serves as the chairman elect and board member of the Florida Council of 100, chairman elect of the Financial Services Roundtable, chairman of the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation, board member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, president of the board of trustees of the Salvador Dali Museum, and member of the Board of Dean's Advisors, Harvard Business School.

In addition, Mr. James has been an active participant in the United Way of Tampa Bay as a member of the board of directors and as founding chairman of the organization's Alexis de Tocqueville Society and the 1995 Pinellas County campaign. Read a complete biography of Mr. James by clicking here.

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