|Jim Bump completed grade school and high school as far as it went in Scenic, SD. The small high school lacked subjects needed for entrance to college. Nevertheless, Jim was admitted to the School of Mines in Rapid City in 1923 and began taking the prerequisite subjects. He graduated in the spring of 1929 with a B.S. degree in Metallurgy.
In 1954, when Jim's Alma Mater honored him as a distinguished graduate by awarding an Honorary D.SC. degree, he related the circumstances of his entry to museum work. It seems that there was a job as student proprietor in the museum. Dr. O. C. O'Harra, president of the School of Mines and a geologist as well, hired him. The job offered summer fieldwork during times when temporary jobs for students were not easy to get. In order to continue his museum work, Jim had to reduce the number of credit hours he could take each semester. It was this decision that made it necessary for him to take five years for his Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering. He was preparing to take a job as metallurgist when Dr. O'Harra offered him a job as the Museum Collector and Proprietor of the museum. There does not seem to have been much hesitation, if any, in Jim's decision to accept the position. <p>Jim's rise in the title and rank spanned 21 years. In 1950 he was appointed Professor of Paleontology and Director of the Museum of Geology. During this period he was not neglectful of civic duties. He was active in the Boy Scouts, President of P.T.A., and a member of the Lions Club. Jim was deeply interested in American history and was a member of the Newcomen Society. <p>Membership in professional societies include The Geological Society of America (Fellow), Paleontological Society, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, American Association of Museums, South Dakota Academy of Science, and Sigma Xi. <p>In the spring of 1939, Dr. Jim Bump was awarded a Carnegie Corporation Grant-in-Aid for foreign travel. This award was given through the American Association of Museums. The stipend of $650 was for travelling to England for the express purpose of visiting museums and colleges.The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, in 1952, appointed Jim to chairman of the subcommittee on Oligocene Stratiography and Correlation of North America. The following year he was elected President of the Society. In 1958 he was appointed to the Government Relations Committee of the American Geological Institute.
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