“I can’t imagine it being named anything else.”
With these words, Andy Wood, president of the Crowder College Board of Trustees, hit the nail squarely on the head in describing naming the college’s McDonald County campus in Jane for retiring board member James B. “Jim” Tatum.
We also can’t imagine a more fitting person to name the campus after than Tatum. Not only did he serve on the board of trustees for an unprecedented 50 years, 45 of which was as president, but he was instrumental in forming the college in the first place. Tatum was among those who led the petition drive for the formation of junior college districts in the early 1960s, which led to Crowder’s formation.
And since then, he has led the board through unprecedented growth and expansion. Crowder has gone from less than 200 students occupying two buildings in Neosho when it first opened to more than 5,600 today on campuses in nine Missouri counties. Several buildings were also added to the Neosho campus alone during Tatum’s 50-year tenure on the board, including the Elsie Plaster Center, the Bob Sneller Gymnasium, the Williams Agriculture Building, the Arnold Farber Building, the Davidson Health and Sciences Building and the MARET Center, just to name a few.
Tatum has also served in other capacities, including as president of the Association of Community College Trustees, the board of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges and as president of the trustees division of the Missouri Community College Association.
Today, we congratulate the board’s decision to name their latest addition after one of the college’s greatest booster.
And we wish Tatum all the best life has to offer.