Jim Pope, son of Doyce Lafayette (DL) Pope & Melba, was born in the Panama Canal while his father was serving in the Army. Jim grew up in Mississippi and graduated from Clinton High School in 1968. While attending high school he was the drum captain in the All-State Superior band and won the state debate championship. He was a member of Boy Scouts of America where he earned the Eagle Scout Award.
After high school, he attended Hinds Junior College where he earned his AA degree. He then continued his education at The University of Southern Mississippi where he joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Jim graduated with a double major in Psychology and Social Studies Education in 1972. He was awarded a full fellowship to complete his master’s in Counseling Psychology. He graduated with Honors in August of 1973.
He began his professional career at Hinds Junior College in Brandon, MS as a counselor, worked with Nationwide Insurance in the early 70s and moved to Germantown, TN, where he started his own State Farm Agency in July of 1981. For 39 years he was a “Good Neighbor Agent” and was awarded the Legion of Honor and the Silver Scroll. He was also recognized by the Germantown News as “People’s Choice Insurance Agency” for 29 consecutive years.
As a businessman, he became a member and President of the Germantown Rotary as well as the Germantown Chamber of Commerce. Jim was also the first Chairman of the Germantown Christmas Parade. Jim was also a two-term President of the Memphis Area Chapter of the Southern Mississippi Alumni Association.
Jim was most proud of his service as an active alumni member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE). He served two terms as Province Theta President. He was elected to serve on the SAE Fraternity Supreme Council and was named Eminent Supreme Archon (National President) in 1997.
Jim had five children: Stacy Suzanne, Anna Kathleen, Samuel Spencer, Mary Frances, Phoenix Michelle, and six grandchildren.
Jim’s motto was to always do what is right, what is fair, and what is honest.