Crowder College to Celebrate Life of James B. Tatum

(Neosho, MO) – A celebration of life services honoring education pioneer James B. Tatum will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, September 17 in the Elsie Plaster Community Center’s theater, which is located on the Crowder College Neosho campus. The service is open to the public.

Mr. Tatum, aged 95, died on December 8 in his McDonald County home. A businessman, soldier, and educator, Mr. Tatum is remembered for his love of life, family, God, country, and Crowder College as well as his respect for others. He was a key figure in creating community colleges in Missouri and in bringing Crowder College to life in order to serve southwest Missouri. He served as a chair of the Crowder Board of Trustees for 45 years and was a board member and president of the Association of Community College Trustees.

Mr. Tatum became chair of the Board of the Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership after Mr. Greenleaf’s death. Under Mr. Tatum’s leadership, servant leadership grew into a worldwide movement. This philosophy was instilled in Crowder College and has led to its national reputation as a student-centered institution.

Speakers in the September 17 service will include Dr. Don Frick, biographer of Mr. Greenleaf and consultant on servant leadership; Andy Wood, current chair of the College’s Board of Trustees; Dr. Kent Farnsworth, retired Crowder president; and Mrs. Susan Brown, Mr. Tatum’s daughter.

Due to COVID-19, college officials and the Tatum family suggest that guests wear masks and respect social distancing guidelines.


Public Information Office
Crowder College

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