If anybody ever loved Auburn University and all it stands for, that man was James T. Tatum Jr. Tatum, who died in 1999, at the age of 68, was a longtime Huntsville attorney and a proud member of the Auburn Board of Trustees. Jim Tatum is survived by his wife, Dana Lee, by son William Tatum, daughters Terri Estess and Jamie Brown, and stepchildren Julie Burk and Phillip Lehman. Tatum graduated from Auburn then called Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1953 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He began his professional career as an engineer at the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Command. After deciding on a career change, Tatum enrolled in law school at the University of Alabama, earned a law degree and returned to Huntsville in the early 1960s to open his own practice. Much of Tatums life work was devoted to improving the state of Alabama and Auburn University in particular through his steadfast support of higher education issues and his myriad contributions as a civic leader. In his role as a trustee, he played a large role in Auburns rise to national academic prominence in the 1980s and 1990s. For years, he was also a member of the boards athletic committee. In 2000, Auburn University posthumously awarded Jim Tatum one of the highest honors the institution can bestow on an individual; an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. In April of 2002 on an A-Day weekend, the University honored Tatum in another way by naming its new $4 million, 14,000-square foot workout facility the James T. Tatum Strength and Conditioning Center. It was a very special day, said Dana Lee Tatum, now the interim director of the North Alabama Tourism Association. Jim loved Auburn more than anything, He was such a loyal supporter, He always looked on his duties with the Board of Trustees as a privilege to serve. He didnt consider it a job at all. The dedication for the weight training building was one of several major posthumous honors dedicated to Tatums memory. In 2000, the Huntsville-Madison County Auburn Club renamed its annual fund raising golf tournament. It is now called the James T. Tatum Tiger Tee Off. Auburn trustee Robert Lowder said Jim was very serious about being a trustee. He always called it his greatest honor. He attended every University function and never missed a meeting, even that last year when he wasnt well.