James Quinn hailed from Chickasha, the son of PAMC alumni James and Esther Quinn. Born in 1939, James moved to a farm north of Guymon in 1946 and graduated from Guymon High School in 1957. As a high schooler, he would excel in 4-H, a love of his life. Jim majored in agronomy at PAMC, graduating in 1961. He would be student association president, valedictorian, and student of the year.
Jim earned his masters in range science at Colorado State U. and his Ph.D. in plant ecology. His first teaching position, as an assistant professor, was at Rutgers, the land grant university of New Jersey. Dr. Quinn would work his way up through the ranks at Rutgers to professor in 1977.
Over the years, Dr. Quinn served on 176 graduate thesis committees and was head advisor for 25 students receiving terminal degrees. As a researcher, he published 167 scholarly articles, book chapters, book reviews, and abstracts. His major areas of research have been in the areas of grass genetics, reproduction in grasses, and sex determination in plants.
Jim is now retired with the rank of professor emeritus from Rutgers U. and maintains a campus office. He continues to work with a variety of community organizations, most recently being trained to aid senior citizens with tax preparation.