Jack T. Tumlin
AAAP Hall of Honor

Dr. Jack T. Tumlin was born in Atlanta, GA on March 9, 1918. He earned a BSA with a major in Poultry Science from the University of Georgia in 1942.  He served in the US Navy in World War II on a ship that saw action in seven invasions.  From 1947-1949, he undertook graduate studies at the University of Tennessee, where he served as an Instructor and Assistant Professor, and where he received an MS degree with a poultry-related thesis in 1949.  He then obtained the DVM degree from the University of Georgia in 1953, and worked for Merck and Company from 1953 to 1955.  He next served as an instructor of veterinary bacteriology and public health and received an MPH degree from the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine in 1958.  He returned to the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine where he was an Assistant Professor and Head of the Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory from 1958-59, after which he returned to industry with Central Soya from 1959 to 1965. 

Through his varied training and frequent moves between academia and industry, he gained broad experience in both poultry diseases and industry operations, which impressed on him the need for specialized training for veterinarians in poultry management and diseases.  Between 1963 and 1965, Dr. Tumlin, along with Drs. J.O. Alberts, W.F. Hughes, and J.L. Rountree, was a member of the AAAP Specialty Board Organizing Committee chaired by Dr. M. S. Hofstad, which was charged with developing plans for an American Board of Avian Medicine.  Though the plan was never adopted, it is clear that Dr. Tumlin had an interest in postgraduate training of veterinarians in poultry medicine at this early date.  The AAAP history publication, "History, American Association of Avian Pathologists, istory, The First Ten Years 1957-1967” indicates that around 1967 Dr. Tumlin chaired a committee “to investigate a continuing education program in avian diseases”, and that the committee “is developing a suggested curriculum for post-graduate clinical training and such training is being offered at the University of Georgia”.  When Dr. Tumlin returned to the University of Georgia in 1965 as Head of the Section of Avian Medicine in the Department of Medicine and Surgery, the development of the MAM program became his goal and ultimate achievement.  He actively participated in soliciting poultry-related industries for funds for students before the program was accepted and funded by the university.  The program was instituted and graduated the first MAM in 1971.  Dr. Tumlin returned to industry in 1972 as Director of Technical Services for Vineland Laboratories.  He later worked for Anitox Corporation and then became Director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory in Springdale.  In 1987 he returned to Vineland Laboratories as Director of Technical Services until his retirement in 1991. 

Dr. Tumlin was active in numerous professional and scientific societies, including the American Association of Avian Pathologists, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, the Poultry Science Association, the  United States Animal Health Association, the Society of American Bacteriologists, the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, the World Poultry Veterinary Association, the Southeastern Poultry and Egg Association (now US Poultry and Egg Association), and the Georgia and Arkansas poultry federationsHis is listed in the Appendix of Dr. Dick Witter’s comprehensive history of AAAP as a Founding Member of AAAP.  He served the AAAP as the Southern District Director on the Board of Directors (four terms, 1966-1970), Chair of the Committee on Continuing Education (1966-1970), Director of Placement Service (1968-1975), Vice President (1972-1973), President (1973-1974), and Ex-Officio President (1974-1975).  He also served on numerous committees representing important interests of the poultry industry.  In 1988, Dr. Tumlin was the first recipient of the AAAP’s newly-established C. A. Bottorff Award (now the Lasher-Bottorff Award) to honor diagnostic and technical service veterinarians who have demonstrated exemplary service to the poultry industry and contributed significantly to the advancement of poultry medicine. 

The first MAM graduated from the University of Georgia in 1971, and as of 2021, 132 MAM degrees have been awarded to both US citizens and those from a wide variety of foreign countries.  As the visionary architect of the Master of Avian Medicine program, Dr. Tumlin’s legacy has had a major impact on poultry medicine, the poultry industry, AAAP, and the lives of many of our members.  As long as the MAM program continues to train specialized veterinarians in poultry medicine, his vision will continue to impact our profession, the industry, and consumers both in the US and abroad.  The continued success of the MAM program is a fitting tribute to Dr. Tumlin’s service to veterinary medicine and the poultry industry. 

Dr. Tumlin died at his home in Cocoa, FL on September 14, 2006 at the age of 88.