Jackson State University’s College of Business announces the creation of the William “Bill” Cooley Fund to honor the namesake’s years of service as a former dean of the college and acknowledge his continued support.
The college has received nearly $20,000 in gifts and pledges for student scholarships and programs in support of the endowment. A campaign to buttress the fund-raising effort will kick off at 7:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 23, in the Penguin with “Coffee with the Champ,” followed by “Breakfast for a Champion” at 8:15 a.m. in the JSU Student Center.
Cooley, a native of the Mississippi Delta and professor emeritus of management at JSU, is chairman emeritus of Systems Electro Coating, Systems Consultants Associates and Systems IT. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry from Tuskegee Institute. In addition, he served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force and is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
Subsequently, Cooley returned to his native Mississippi, earning a master’s degree from the University of North Dakota in industrial management and later accepting a teaching position at JSU. Also, he studied and taught management at Mississippi State University, where he earned a doctorate in business administration.
While at JSU, Cooley founded Systems Consulting Associates, which was recognized in 2003 by Inc. magazine as one of the Top 100 fastest-growing, inner-city companies in the U.S. In 2001, Cooley founded Systems Electro Coating, a tier-one supplier to Nissan North America Inc., Canton. By the end of 2015, Systems Electro Coating is expected to be the sole provider of frames used in the manufacture of all trucks and SUVs produced by Nissan in the nation. Since 2006, Systems has been among Black Enterprise’s Top 100 largest African-American companies in the U.S., ranking 32nd in 2014.
Tickets to the breakfast are $25 each. For more information and reservations, contact Gail Fulgham at 601-979-2617; Mary White at 601-979-2672; or Jean Walker at 601-979-2413. Gifts and pledges to the William “Bill” Cooley Fund may be mailed to the JSU College of Business, 1400 John R. Lynch Street, P.O. Box 18660, Jackson, MS 39217.