James E. Thompson has renewed the James E. Thompson Professorship in Marketing for three more academic years at Northern Illinois University.
Thompson (pictured on left), a 1967 marketing alumnus, who served as executive vice president and managing director of the Leo Burnett Co., established the professorship in 2014 for a three-year term.
"“I have a continuing gratitude for my experience with faculty and curriculum in my years at NIU. I especially remember certain professors who went out of their way to nurture my interest and understanding of marketing, business and liberal arts as well. These were invaluable at the start and throughout my career,” Thompson said. “Whatever I’m now able to give back was well-earned by those very special teachers. It’s my belief that today the College of Business continues the primary focus on students and great teaching that I saw back in the ’60s. That deserves all of our support.”
His gift will be used to extend the James E. Thompson Professorship in Marketing for another three years to award-winning professor Tim Aurand (pictured on right). He serves the university in three main capacities: teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in marketing; researching topics of interest in marketing; and serving the university as a member of numerous committees. He is currently the adviser for the NIU chapter of the American Marketing Association and a board member of the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair.
“I’m truly grateful to Jim Thompson for extending the professorship. Over the last year, I have been developing an online branding course, offered for the first time at NIU. I am also revamping my classroom material to concentrate on digital marketing,” Aurand said. “I’m grateful to Mr. Thompson for having confidence and faith in my discipline.”
The professorship will allow Aurand to devote more time to research, help other faculty with scholarly pursuits and bring research results into the classroom and organizations that he is involved in.
“Supporting faculty excellence is a top priority. Great faculty make lasting impressions on our students. It’s vital to have creative and engaging professors who not only encourage and mentor our students, but incorporate new methods and ideas into the classroom,” said Balaji Rajagopalan, dean of the NIU College of Business. “Professorships, fellowships and chairs provide the resources to retain faculty like Tim Aurand, the James E. Thompson Professor, and allow him to pursue his research. We are grateful to Jim for his generosity.”
The NIU College of Business has 22 externally funded faculty professorships.