Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Current SGA President to Continue Serving Marshall

Walker Tatum has a distinct idea for what he wants to accomplish in his new position with the Marshall University Foundation, said the executive director of alumni relations.

“Walker has this really clear vision of where he sees the university going, and it aligns with where the foundation and the president sees the university going, too,” Matt James said.

On March 14, Marshall announced in a news release that Tatum, the current student body president, would take up the role of director of alumni engagement for the foundation.

James said Tatum’s role will involve him working to build the alumni chapters and engage younger alumni. He went on to say, as part of the foundation’s rebranding, the goal is to show that alumni can help in more ways than just monetary donations.

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“There’s really no better ambassador than to bring your current student body president,” James said.

“Somebody that literally is going to be a member of the young alumni community in just a few months.” Tatum said, although he is a biology pre-med student, his time on the Student Government Association and the Board of Governors made him realize the opportunities he had been granted. He said he enjoyed the work he did with SGA and chose to apply for the position because he wanted to continue what he was doing but with alumni.

“One thing that they can give us is their time,” Tatum said. “I want to do my best in this capacity to tap into that generation of younger alums so that our alumni chapters continue to grow.”

As part of this goal, James said a new academic model involving alumni as academic mentors for juniors and seniors will be implemented on campus. These new alumni mentors will serve as extra advisors for juniors moving into their senior year.

“It’s called Herd Connect,” James said. “As students go from their junior to senior year, one thing that’s going to make Marshall unique across the country is that we are incorporating alumni mentors into our academic advising model.”

James said although Tatum’s time in SGA influenced the decision to hire him, the main factor was his commitment to the university.

“He has the skill set. At the core of this is his deep passion and commitment for Marshall University, James said. “I think if you literally cut the man’s arm open, he would bleed Kelly Green, and that’s the center of this.”

James said an important part in choosing Tatum was the support from older alumni, who recognized that a young representative was needed to fulfill President Smith’s goals. He said only two people at the foundation hall interact with alumni regularly, and the older community already had enough representation

For Tatum, this new position will allow him to fulfill his goal of leaving a legacy on campus. He said he knew someday a future student body president would look back on his administration.

“No matter what you continue to do in life, whether you stay in that position or you continue to prosper or get another opportunity,” Tatum said, “you’ll always have something close to your heart that you know you worked on and that you helped and that you put time into.”

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