MSU alumnus brings support to Mississippi State through endowed department head chair

May 5, 2023

Doug and Gloria MarchantMississippi State alumnus Doug Marchant and his wife, Gloria, have established an endowed department head chair in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

“I am appreciative of the vision that Doug and Gloria Marchant have in endowing the department head’s chair in computer science & engineering,” said Jason Keith, Dean of the Bagley College of Engineering. “These positions bring a lot of additional recognition to the department, college and university, but especially to the chairholder.”

Endowed department head chairs are the most prestigious named faculty positions at Mississippi State. These chairs allow the university to attract and retain top talent for these leadership positions. The resources provided by the Gloria and Doug Marchant Endowed Department Head Chair endowment return will be used to defer some of the department head’s salary and to provide discretionary funding to the department head to help raise the stature and visibility of the department to the next level.

The department head provides leadership and mentoring to the department’s faculty, staff, and students and leads the department’s teaching, research and outreach enterprises. The Marchant Chair will be awarded to the current department head, Shahram Rahimi. As the endowment grows, it will help Rahimi lead the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Mississippi State University.

Doug explained that education is something that both he and his wife believed to be extremely important and that his education a Mississippi State and the Bagley College of Engineering gave him the opportunity to succeed, and because of that, they felt a calling to give back and help other students achieve their goals.

“Mississippi State and the Bagley College of Engineering have given Gloria and me so much throughout the years and set us up for success,” Doug said. “It’s our hope that the establishment of this chair will allow the department, college and university to grow and impact students the same way the university impacted us.”

Doug is a 1974 graduate of computer science and mathematics and is the founder and former CEO of Unified Health Service in Memphis, Tennessee. Doug is also a long-time member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Bagley College of Engineering and advisor to the College’s Engineering Entrepreneur Studies at the university.

Gloria Marchant began her college career at Mississippi State University as an elementary education major. She finished her last 18 hours and her teaching internship at the University of Houston ,where she and Doug relocated upon Doug’s graduation. Gloria taught grade school for 10 years.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) offers B.S. programs in computer science, software engineering, and computer engineering, as well as master’s and doctoral programs in computer science. Primary research areas are artificial intelligence, computer security and forensics, high-performance computing, software engineering, and visualization & computer graphics.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is online at and can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at and can be found on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

By Camille Carskadon