With a $10 million gift to the Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Fred Rodgers Adams, Jr.’s legacy of philanthropy, entrepreneurship and humility lives on. Jean Reed Adams made the donation in honor of her late husband, who died in 2020 at age 88.
This is one of the largest philanthropic gifts The MIND Center has received. “A gift of this magnitude is truly transformational,” said Dr. Thomas Mosley, Robbie and Dudley Hughes MIND Center Chair and director, The MIND Center. “We are excited to share more in the coming months about how it will be used to further The MIND Center’s missions. We are grateful that Mrs. Adams saw The MIND Center as a worthy recipient of such an impactful gift.”
Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs, said the generous gift will boost the research mission of the Medical Center through the study and treatment of patients with memory loss and cognitive impairment.
“We are incredibly thankful for Mrs. Adams’ gift, which will be used to find ways to improve the lives of patients in Mississippi and beyond. This investment in the work of The MIND Center will benefit our state both now, and in the future,” she said.
A native of Macon, Mr. Adams founded Adams Egg Farms in 1957, converting an old Mendenhall cotton gin into a feed mill for poultry and commercial eggs. Approximately seven years later, he built a 1,086-acre egg production facility in Edwards, eventually merging with two other farms to form Cal-Maine Foods, the country’s largest producer and marketer of shell eggs.
Now headquartered in Ridgeland, Cal-Maine, a public corporation, produces more than one-billion dozen eggs each year. Known for his generosity, Adams made sure his employees – whom he greeted by name – share in the financial growth of the company.
After having a stroke in 2011, Mr. Adams developed expressive aphasia, and later dementia, his wife said. “He also had three siblings, two of whom had dementia or cognitive issues, so this has touched our family in many ways. I wanted to honor Fred by helping other families going through similar experiences.”
Mrs. Adams’ gift will support the UMMC MIND Center-Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, clinical care and each of UMMC’s key mission areas. The MIND Center will celebrate the gift during a ceremony in the fall.
“I hope this donation can help The MIND Center get closer to finding a cure for these diseases,” said Jean Reed Adams.