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Former Chowan president Jerry Jackson dies
Chowan University
April 12, 2011
3 MIN READ TIME

Former Chowan president Jerry Jackson dies

Former Chowan president Jerry Jackson dies
Chowan University
April 12, 2011

MURFREESBORO — Jerry F. Jackson of Shelby, Chowan’s president

from 1989 to 1995, died April 2 at Mecklenburg Healthcare Center in Charlotte

after a lengthy illness.

Jackson is survived by his wife Carolyn Grace Laughlin and

their two children, Jami and West, and two grandchildren.

The 20th president of then-Chowan College, Jerry Francis

Jackson was born in Clinton on Oct. 1, 1938. Attending Mars Hill College,

Jackson received his A.A. in 1958 and his B.A. degree in 1960, and in 1961,

Jackson earned his M.S. degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale,

Ill. In 1988, he earned a Doctorate in Education from the University of South

Carolina, with additional postgraduate studies at East Carolina University, N.C.

State University and the University of Cincinnati.

Jackson has had a distinguished career blending his love for

education with his strong faith. As a faculty member in history and political science

at Campbell University in Buies Creek, Jackson advanced to assistant to the academic

dean and to dean of students and director of admissions. Jackson also served as

director of development with Sampson Technical College in Clinton before moving

on to become vice president of advancement at Wingate University and later, vice

president for development with the Foreign Mission Board (now International

Mission Board) of the Southern Baptist Convention in Richmond, Va. In 1989,

Jackson was named president of Chowan College.

“The Chowan family mourns with the Jacksons. We are indeed

grateful for his past leadership,” said current Chowan University President

Chris White of his personal friend and professional colleague for many years.

“Through his leadership, Chowan returned to four-year status and significant

property was acquired to house the Jenkins Center and now Reed Hall.”

Perhaps the most important decision of Jackson’s six-year

tenure at Chowan was the formal transition from a junior college awarding associates

degrees to a four-year senior college eligible to award baccalaureate degrees,

which was voted into approval by the Trustees in 1990.

Expansion also marked Jackson’s presidential tenure through

the acquisition of additional acreage for athletics surrounding the Helms

Center on Union Street and the purchase of what now houses the Jenkins Wellness

Center and the new Reed Hall on Lakewood Drive. Jackson also increased the

number of female trustees on Chowan’s Board, and Elaine Myers of Ahoskie became

the first woman to serve as Chowan’s Chair of the Trustees under Jackson’s

presidency in 1994.

Also hallmarking his tenure, Jackson began the Ambassadors

program to highlight campus student leaders who excelled academically to host

special activities and campus events as a way to set the tone for moral values

and spiritual life on campus. Jackson strove to emphasis the importance of

Chowan’s quality of student life and student retention and development of

academic support services, even going so far as to travel the roads himself to

visit students, schools, and guidance counselors.

In 1991, a scholarship was established in honor of Carolyn

Jackson’s parents, the James Marion and Grace G. Laughlin Scholarship, and all

gifts to Chowan University to honor the passing of Jerry Jackson can go to

support this endowment.

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