The James E. Walker Library, named for the University's eighth president, opened in 1999.
James Edwin Walker graduated from Alabama State University with a bachelor's degree in biology, earned a master's in special education from Atlanta University, and graduated from Pennsylvania State University's doctoral program in education. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alabama in Higher Education Administration and was also a graduate of the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management.
Dr. Walker was provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Northern Colorado until he became President of MTSU in 1991. He left MTSU in 2000 to become President of Southern Illinois University, the place his teaching career started decades before. He died at his home on February 6, 2006 after a battle with cancer.
Dr. Walker's strong support for the Library is continued today by President McPhee.