Alabama Academy of Honor


James Everett Martin

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1990.



Vinemont in Cullman County, Alabama, claims the honor of being the birthplace of James Everett Martin. This event occurred on June 22, 1932, and his parents were Everett P. Martin and Buena Martin.

James Martin grew up in Greensboro, Alabama, and was graduated from its high school. Following high school graduation, he entered Auburn University on a four-year athletic scholarship. It was from this institution that he earned a B.S. degree in agricultural management in 1954.

During his college days at Auburn, James Martin met an attractive Auburn cheerleader. In time he proposed marriage to Ann Freeman, and she accepted. To this union were born three children, and now the Martins boast of one grandchild.

Following graduation from Auburn University, Martin entered graduate school at North Carolina State University where he received a M.S. degree in agricultural economics in 1956.

After serving two years in the United States armed forces, he enrolled at lowa State University where he earned a Ph.D. degree in agricultural economics in 1962.

Dr. Martin has taught at the University of Maryland and at Oklahoma State University. During 1968-1975 he was Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

It was while occupying the presidency of the University of Arkansas that Dr . James E . Martin received a call from his alma mater, Auburn University, to become president of that institution of higher education.

Dr. Martin reacted favorably to the Board of Trustees of Auburn University's invitation to "return home" as president of Auburn. He assumed the duties there as that institution's fourteeth president on February 15, 1984.

Under Martin's leadership Auburn University completed its most successful private capital campaign in the institution's history which resulted in $111 million of contributions and pledges.

His tenure has been characterized by the following major developments: a complete administrative restructuring; capital construction projects whose totals exceed $100 million; the ten-year reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and faculty salary increase of approximately 25 percent. He has also established a recruiting program for academically talented students in Alabama.

Dr. James E. Martin is the author of thirty-eight professional papers and is frequently invited to speak before various groups and organizations. His civic involvement includes Rotary Club, United Fund and the Heart Association.