The Rupps have generously donated to the debate program at Idaho State University, which resulted in the creation of the James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society. As a result of their generosity, the team has had the resources to recruit and highly experienced and exceptional coaches and talented students. In 2006, the ISU debate team placed third behind Harvard and Dartmouth at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Tournament – a feat that took many Ivy League schools by surprise. In March, both the University and the Rupps were proud to host the CEDA 2009 National Championships. This tournament is the largest collegiate championship debate contest in the country. ISU made the \"Sweet 16\" in this tournament and had a Top 10 individual, Paul Montreuil.
Jim was an avid debater during his college years at ISU. He won several awards, including the title of Idaho Oratory Champion and National Debate champion. He graduated in 1956 with a speech communication degree. Three years later, Jim graduated with a master\'s degree in radio-television at Ohio State University. He eventually became known industry-wide as President, CEO and one of the largest shareholders of Midwest Communications. He founded JR Communications, Inc. in February 1992 after Midwest Communications, Inc. was sold to CBS, Inc. Jim also has served as director of United Video Satellite, Inc., United Video Cablevision, Inc., and First Trust Company of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sharon graduated from ISU in 1957 with a bachelor\'s degree in education and business. They have been married for 53 years and now are both retired living in Naples, Florida.
The Gem Legacy
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