MPA student James Tatum III named 2016 Thompson Scholar

Thompson Scholar 2016The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs has named 2016-17 MPA student James Tatum III as this year’s Jean and Dick Thompson Endowed Graduate Scholar. The Thompson fund, first awarded in 2015, is designed to provide financial support to a promising graduate student in any of the departments of the Maxwell School.

The Jean and Dick Thompson Endowed Graduate Scholarship was established by the Syracuse University Board of Trustees as Dick Thompson concluded his term as chairman of the Board.   Dick is a Maxwell alumnus (with an MA in political science, 1967); his wife and the fund’s other honoree, the former C. Jean Terry, is also a Syracuse graduate (BA, social studies education, 1966). 

“The Maxwell School is one of the greatest institutions in the world,” said Thompson, commenting on the creation of the award in 2015. “I was honored to be a student here and to serve Syracuse University as chairman. We are humbled and overwhelmed to be a part of this new tradition at the Maxwell School and grateful that the board endowed this scholarship in our name.”

Tatum, a graduate of Eastern Michigan University in political science, has completed research projects centered around public finance, veteran’s affairs, municipal bankruptcy, and public solvency. At Eastern Michigan, he was a writer/editor for the student newspaper, where he won an outstanding journalist award, in addition to being granted the Michigan Political Science Association Award, among other honors and awards. His articles have been published in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, Public Finance and Management, and Business & Bankruptcy Law Journal. After his time at Maxwell, Tatum hopes to establish a career in economic development and capital asset management for local governments where his expertise can help financially distressed cities recover and prosper.