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News Release

Feb. 8, 2024

Tatums establish scholarship fund to help Northwest education majors

Northwest Missouri State University’s new president and first lady have committed to supporting future education students attending the institution by establishing an endowed scholarship.

Dr. Lance and Jill Tatum (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Dr. Lance and Jill Tatum (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Dr. Lance and Jill Tatum recently pledged gifts totaling at least $25,000 to create the Lance and Jill Tatum Scholarship in collaboration with the Northwest Foundation Inc.

“There are many educators who invested in us over the years, who helped to mold and develop our love for learning,” Jill Tatum said. “We are forever grateful and hope to pay it forward.”

The Lance and Jill Tatum Scholarship is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who are majoring in education and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75. An individual scholarship of no less than $1,000 will be awarded annually to the recipient determined by a selection committee of faculty representing the School of Education. The first scholarship will be awarded for the fall 2024 semester. 

“We are thrilled Dr. and Mrs. Tatum have already made such a meaningful gift to benefit Northwest students, having been at the University for less than a year,” said Mitzi Marchant, vice president of university advancement and executive director of the Northwest Foundation. “This is quite a testament, demonstrating their support for Northwest and our students as well as their commitment to continue the University’s strong culture of giving. We are hopeful others will follow in their lead, by making their own gift to Northwest or even supporting the Tatums’ newly endowed scholarship.”

Dr. Tatum began his tenure as Northwest’s 11th president on June 1, 2023, after serving Troy University in Alabama in various roles, most recently as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and chief academic officer, since 1998. He also held faculty positions in sport and fitness management at Troy University, and he began his academic career as an assistant professor of physical education at Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia. He earned his Ph.D. in sport management at Florida State University and has a Master of Science in Education degree in foundations of education and a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education, both from Troy University.

Jill Tatum became Northwest’s first lady in June after an accomplished career as an educator in Alabama. She spent 14 years as a classroom teacher in Montgomery Public Schools and then was employed for 16 years as a literacy specialist with the Alabama State Department of Education. She also worked with the Alabama Partnership for Children and KidsFirst Education. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at Troy University.

The Lance and Jill Tatum Scholarship Fund is capable of receiving additional contributions at any time. For more information or to make a tax-deductible gift to benefit the University, contact Northwest’s Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
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