Jim and Judi Herbert
Jim Herbert began his UT career living in a 10-by-12 room in the center of a greenhouse. It was board he earned through sweat equity for watering plants.
UT is also where Jim met his wife, the former Judith Anderson. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry in 1962, and she earned a bachelor’s in English the following year.
The Herberts’ impacts at the university are many. Jim is a member of the UT Foundation Board of Directors. Judi serves on the College of Arts and Science Dean’s Advisory Board. Together, they were presented the 2016 UT Philanthropists of the Year award. Their passions as students have transitioned into their philanthropic efforts today, with each of their respective colleges receiving generous endowments.
With agriculture in his roots, Jim came to UT as a Memphis-area farm boy and went on to become the cofounder and executive chairman of Neogen Corporation. The publicly held company is a pioneer in rapid diagnostic testing and focuses on the development, manufacturing, and marketing of products for food and animal safety.
Jim Herbert’s business acumen at Neogen and other corporations on which he has served as a board member has won praise from NASDAQ and USA Today, which named him a Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Michigan State University and Queen’s University of Belfast, Ireland. In 2016, he picked up another when UT recognized his service to industry and his alma mater with an honorary doctorate of agriculture.
Michigan may be where the Herberts now live, but their hearts have never left Tennessee.