MMR Founder and President/CEO James B. “Pepper” Rutland Named Distinguished Graduate of Louisiana State University, Inducted into Alumni Hall of Distinction
April 5, 2023
BATON ROUGE, LA — MMR is proud to announce that the Louisiana State University Alumni Association inducted MMR Founder and CEO James B. “Pepper” Rutland into its Hall of Distinction. Rutland was selected as a distinguished graduate of LSU by the association, which recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves and LSU through their achievements.
“LSU has been a great place for me. It has helped my forge the foundation of who I am and contributed greatly to the successes I’ve had throughout my career,” said Rutland. “I continue to be amazed at the talent which comes from my alma mater, and for that I owe this University much gratitude. I will always be ‘Forever LSU.’”
Rutland was honored at the 2023 LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction Gala on Friday, March 31 st, at the Lod Cook Alumni Center, located on LSU’s campus in Baton Rouge, La. The event recognized the 2023 Hall of Distinction inductees, Young Alumna of the Year and Alumnus of the Year, followed by a cocktail reception and silent auction. Inductees are selected by the association based on rigorous criteria, including career accomplishments, quality of character, investment in their local communities and a vested commitment to the betterment of their alma mater.
Rutland’s journey began at Louisiana State University, where he attended on a football scholarship after graduating from Baton Rouge High School. He was a member of the 1971–1972 All SEC Academic Team and served as a team captain in 1972. Rutland graduated with his bachelor’s degree from LSU as a member of the construction technology program’s first class, now the construction management program.
Rutland founded MMR Group in his hometown of Baton Rouge, La. in 1991. Under Rutland’s leadership, MMR achieved early, rapid success, pursuing international projects and aiding in Hurricane Katrina restoration efforts in contract with Fluor/FEMA. Since its founding, MMR continues to prosper under Pepper’s same values, innovative spirit and unwavering drive to succeed. With revenues of $940 million and a global workforce of 5,000 employees, MMR has grown to become the largest privately-owned electrical and instrumentation contractor in the nation.
Rutland is a proud corporate partner of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, which includes an endowment to expand and advance cancer care for MMR employees and the community at large. Additionally, Rutland is a founding member of the Miracle League at Cypress Mounds, a nonprofit organization created to give children with any type of disability or special needs the opportunity to play baseball as a part of a team and in an organized league. He is a strong supporter of his alma mater, working with the LSU College of Engineering to provide mentorship opportunities and resources for construction and engineering students.
Rutland’s previous honors include the LSU College of Engineering Hall of Distinction Award, induction into the College of Engineering Society for Engineering Excellence, numerous Baton Rouge Business Report “Best Places to Work” honors, and, most recently, selection as the Baton Rouge Business Report 2022 Hall of Fame Laureate.