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A Jackson State University alum is paying it forward by empowering the next generation of scholars at his alma mater who will shape the world of business. Attorney Joe N. Tatum donated $50,000 to the institution’s College of Business.
Tatum—who has practiced law for over two decades—graduated from JSU cum laude, earning a degree in accounting. After working in the industry at top firms throughout the city of Detroit, he transitioned into law and received his Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law. Throughout his career, he’s worked on over 3,500 consumer bankruptcy cases and has provided counsel for medical malpractice and personal injury cases.
He credits the Mississippi-based HBCU for helping him nurture his passion for serving others and equipping him with the skills to thrive in business and law. Tatum hopes his contribution will inspire other HBCU alums to invest in the colleges and universities that have transformed their lives.
“My experience at Jackson State literally set the course for how things have played out for me. It was at Jackson State that I learned how to engage with people, how to dress and how to conduct business,” he shared in a statement. “If I can give and encourage others to, then I believe we can grow, I believe we can expand our capacity even further, and continue to drive our mission. People will come, and people will go, but our institution will always be here.” Tatum currently is a shareholder in the full-service bankruptcy law-focused firm Tatum and Wide, PLLC.
HBCU graduates are stepping up financially to help advance academic programs at their former schools and provide opportunities for underserved students. Last year, Alabama A&M University was given a $2.2 million gift from an anonymous alum. “This gift is personal to me,” read a note that came with the donation. “This is my university, and it has afforded me opportunities beyond what I could have ever imagined. It has been my life’s mission to make a sizeable investment in my alma mater.”