Building upon his days competing on the Ole Miss Cross Country team, Rodney Pearson (BE 75, BBA 75, MBA 76)) has proved himself to be a very accomplished long distance runner, but success has still managed to catch him.
Pearson double majored in Computer Science and Business Administration and followed that up with a Masters Degree in Business Administration the next year. He managed to complete all of that in just five years and was named a Carrier Scholar.
Not yet done with his education, Pearson then was accepted to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business where he earned his Doctorate in Computer Based Information Systems. He is now a tenured professor of Business Information Systems at Mississippi State. He has achieved numerous professional honors during his teaching career, including MSU’s university-wide Grisham Master Teacher Award in 2002. Prior to his tenure at MSU, Pearson taught accountancy at Harvard from 1977-1984 and served as a Management Information Systems professor at Boston University from 1984-1987.
Pearson credits three people as influences on his love for college teaching: his mother, Diane Triplett Pearson Guyton, who was a professor in the School of Accountancy from 1976-1992; Gene Peery, whom he had for six semesters of accounting at UM; and Darrell Ward, who founded UM’s Computer Science program in 1974 and taught virtually all of the computer science classes at that time.
“Those three were such great teachers that to this day I find myself copying them,” he says. “I only hope that I can affect some student’s life as much as they affected mine.”
Besides being an exceptional student, Pearson has always been active in athletics. In addition to being a member of the cross country team at Ole Miss, he also tutored his fellow athletes and was a strong supporter the Lady Rebels as well. While he was in Boston, Pearson achieved quite a bit of success at marathon running. In 1981, he ran the Boston Marathon in 2 hours and 21 minutes — finishing 84th out of approximately 10,000 runners. He has held the Mississippi state record in the marathon since 1982.
Pearson’s love for Ole Miss is not unlikely when you consider his family practically raised him on campus. Besides being a professor in the School of Accountancy, his mother was also the first woman ever named to the athletic committee. His father, Thomas H. “Babe” Pearson played football for UM under Coach Vaught from 1947-1951, and then attended Ole Miss Law School. All four of Diane and Thomas’ children graduated from Ole Miss, and Rodney’s uncle, Faser Triplett, is also a well-known UM supporter.
After almost 20 years of teaching at Mississippi State, Pearson admits ties to both institutions. “I truly love both schools and the great people that make them such wonderful places to live,” he says.
Pearson, his wife, Allison, and their dog, Bear, love the outdoors and take off to the mountains to hike and camp in the backcountry every chance they get. You can contact him athttp://misweb.cbi.msstate.edu/~COBI/faculty/professor.shtml?rpearson.