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VOL. 125 | NO. 136 | Thursday, July 15, 2010

Evolve Honors House With Law Scholarship

By Andy Meek

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A new scholarship established at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law honors the legacy of a respected Memphis lawyer and financial consultant who died in December.

E. James “Jim” House Jr. is still remembered for his wisdom, strong work ethic and place in the local business community. One colleague recalled him as a “man’s man” and a “prince of a guy” who would have been thrilled to know his name graces a scholarship that will cover a major part of a law student’s tuition.

Evolve Bank & Trust established an annual scholarship at the U of M law school in memory of House, the bank’s legal counsel, financial consultant and a member of its board until his death. House’s resume also included a stint as an of counsel attorney with the Memphis office of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP.

House followed a long and storied career that touched a wide swath of legal and financial institutions. Besides his work with Evolve and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, he served as general counsel for Union Planters Corp. for about a decade until the company merged with Regions Financial Corp.

After the merger, he went to Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs to help grow its financial institutions practice side.

The scholarship in his name is intended to go to a student who shows academic perseverance and will likely go to someone who shares the interest House had in finance. It will be awarded in the 2011-2012 academic year with preference given to Vanderbilt University graduates, though that’s not a requirement.

“The profile of the scholarship recipient we’re going after is kind of a diamond in the rough,” said Evolve Bank CEO and president W. Scott Stafford. “Someone who needs a break. Someone who works hard academically and has strong character. And we’re hoping to set this up to give someone the chance to go on to the next level.”

Stafford said House’s family will meet the recipient of each year’s scholarship and be part of any ceremonies. The first one will be awarded sometime early next year.

Additional gifts to the scholarship fund in House’s memory can be made by contacting U of M law school director of development Shawna Engel.

“It will cover roughly one-third of the tuition cost, which is quite substantial,” Engel said of the scholarship. “That’s money the student won’t have to take out in loans.”

Among the many things he was known for, House, a graduate of Vanderbilt and the University of Memphis law school, brought sound judgment and an experience level to Evolve’s board that’s tough to replace, Stafford said.

“He was one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet,” he said. “He served on our board and he was just – you’re talking about 30-40 years of experience there that you can’t just go out and get overnight.

“He was a man’s man. He loved to hunt and fish. He worked hard. And he was a solid guy that cared about doing things the right way.”

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 52 151
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751
BANKRUPTCIES 37 157 618
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 77 276
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0