James H. Yocum ’47 is this year’s recipient of the Acta Non Verba Award—the highest honor presented by Kings Point’s Department of Athletics. This award honors an individual who goes above and beyond in his or her support of athletics.
Yocum graduated from Kings Point in 1947. During his time as a Midshipman, he sailed with Alcoa Steamship, American Export, and Grace Line. Following graduation, he sailed as a Deck Officer with Moore-McCormack and Grace Lines. He earned an additional bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Yocum later served on active duty with the Navy in Korea and Japan from 1952 to 1954.
Upon leaving the Navy, Yocum began working at Yocum Brothers, Inc.—his family’s cigar manufacturing business. He held positions as Vice President, Secretary, and Director until 1957 when the business was sold. That year, Penn Square Mutual was established. Yocum served as Vice Chairman of its Board of Trustees as well as Executive Vice President of the management company, which was sold in 1986.
Yocum invested a lot of his time in local community relations, serving on the Board of Trustees of the Reading, Pennsylvania Area Community College—as well as Chairman of its Foundation. He was Director of the Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery and also served as a member of the Board—as well as President—of the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts. Yocum also participated on the Trustee Council at Phillips Exeter Academy, where he was President of the Class of 1944.
Yocum’s dedication and passion for Kings Point is demonstrated through his active involvement with the Alumni Association and Foundation. He served as the organization’s President from 1978 to 1981. He was also Chairman of the Planned Gifts and Investment Committees. Yocum now serves as a member of the Board.
Due to his many leadership roles and notable accomplishments, Yocum received the Alumni Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, Meritorious Alumni Service Award, and Distinguished Service Award. He was named Kings Pointer of the Year in 1992. A new waterfront activities building was dedicated in 1994 in honor and memory of his late grandparents, parents, and brothers. This campus staple continues to display its name—Yocum Sailing Center—and be one of the most popular and appreciated spots on campus.
Yocum was inducted into the Academy’s Hall of Distinguished Graduates in 2004. A consistent and long-time supporter of the Academy, he now resides in Reading, Pennsylvania.
This bio was written in 2016.