Sidney R. Jumper, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee, passed away on December 9, 2011.
Jumper received his PhD in 1960 from the University of Tennessee and joined the faculty of the department later that decade. In 1977 he was appointed Head, a position he held for 18 years. Under his leadership the department added new faculty lines and secured funding for a free-standing geography building located in the center of the campus. He also advocated for increased emphasis on research and graduate education in the department.
In 1986, Jumper and the late Theodore Schmudde established the Tennessee Geographic Alliance, one of seven pilot alliance programs in the United States. Today the Tennessee Geographic Alliance boasts nearly 5,000 members and has spent over $3.6 million on improving K-12 geography education in Tennessee.
Jumper was active in the Southeastern Division of the AAG (SEDAAG) and served as editor of the Southeastern Geographer. His contributions to SEDAAG resulted in his receiving the Honorary Life Membership Award in 1981 and Outstanding Service Award in 1987 from that division. In 1997, Tennessee’s governor named Jumper the Tennessee State Geographer. In 2000, Jumper was honored with AAG Distinguished Service Honors. A year later, the National Geographic Society established the Sidney Jumper Grant for Teaching Research in his honor.
For over thirty years, Sidney Jumper’s tireless efforts improved the status of our discipline and the quality of geography education at all levels of instruction.
Sidney Jumper (Necrology). 2012. AAG Newsletter 47(3): 36.