James Tatum

James TatumRecipient of the honorary Doctor of Public Affairs

Speaker at the 10 a.m. ceremony on May 16, 2014

James B. Tatum is a 4th generation McDonald Countian. He is a product of Anderson, Missouri schools, Wentworth Military Academy and is the first McDonald Countian to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He served in the U.S. Army as an infantry company commander and was severely wounded in the Korean War and retired on a medical disability.

Committed to creating educational opportunity

Tatum, owner of Tatum Motor Company for 54 years, has pursued a lifelong passion for creating educational opportunities for others. He has served on the Crowder College Board of Trustees for more than 50 years and has served as president of local country school boards, PTAs and school districts primarily in southwest Missouri.

His voluntary leadership led to the change in state law tax districts allowing for rural community colleges. He championed his passion for education as a delegate to the White House Conference on Education in 1960, served on the President's Educational Advisory Council from 1982-88, and was director of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.

Recently, his efforts have been in helping to establish the MARET Center (Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology) recognized internationally for its contributions to the energy field.