News from The Foundation

Jim Herbert, Herbert College of Agriculture Benefactor, Passes Away

Jim Herbert ('62)

Dear Colleagues, Alumni, Students and Friends:

It is with great sadness I announce the passing of Jim Herbert, who was a UT alumnus, supporter and philanthropist. Many of you know him as the namesake of our Herbert College of Agriculture, which was established in 2018 to honor a transformational gift by Jim and his wife, Judi.

I had the privilege to get to know Jim and talk to him about his aspirations for the college, and I feel he would be proud of the strides we are making to honor his commitment and dreams for our current and future students. Like many of our students and alumni, Jim came from humble beginnings as a farm boy in Memphis. He happened to come to UT because a professor visiting his town said he could have a free room at the university if he took care of the plants in the greenhouse. He talked about his beginnings in a 2016 commencement speech to college graduates, calling the day he took a train from Memphis to Knoxville and his life beyond a “great adventure.”

Jim, who graduated from UT in 1962, met his wife, Judi, at UT. She graduated in 1963. They became donors immediately after graduation even with their meager salary because they felt it was important to give back. Jim co-founded Neogen Corporation, a pioneer in rapid diagnostic testing and products for food and animal safety. He took that success and gave back to his community, industry and university.

The University of Tennessee is grateful for the vision and dedication of Jim Herbert. While we mourn his passing, we honor his legacy through every lesson taught, opportunity granted and new dream inspired thanks to his generosity.

Keith S. Carver Jr.
Senior Vice Chancellor & Senior Vice President
UT Institute of Agriculture Administration