Dr. George A. Jackson Legacy Challenge

Help honor the legacy of Dr. George A. Jackson, who dedicated his decades-long career to the recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented and minority students at Iowa State University. 

Dr. George A. Jackson Legacy Challenge

A transformational leader and compassionate advocate, Dr. George A. Jackson built an incredible legacy at Iowa State University. His career spanned decades and included several roles, and influenced countless individuals through engagement, encouragement, discourse and financial generosity. His work also laid the foundation for many programs that are serving students today and will continue to serve them in the future. 

Dr. Jackson arrived in Ames and at ISU in 1978 as the first Director of the newly named Office of Minority Affairs, now the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. While over the years he served in different positions, including Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Dean of the Graduate College, Dr. Jackson's passion and focus was to provide support for programs that promoted retention, recruitment and graduation of first generation and minority students. He developed partnerships across campus and collaborated closely with Admissions, the Office of Student Financial Aid and each of colleges to significantly increase the number of underrepresented students at ISU. Dr. Jackson authored and published many articles and guides to help educators, professors and colleauges assist underrepresented, first generation and minority students.

A "warrior" for students, Dr. Jackson's ultimate goal was to "help students see through themselves so they can see themselves through." He opened the door of equity and opportunity to innumberable students, many of whom have gone on to be leaders and educators themselves. 

His legacy also lives on in the many programs he worked to establish at Iowa State University, including the Director of Multicultural Student Success (DMSS) Program (formerly the Multicultural Liaison Program), the College Bound program, which was instrumental in helping create the current Science Bound program at Iowa State University, TRIO Programs at ISU (including Educational Talent Search (ETS), Upward Bound and Support Services programs),development of the first Student Summer Educational Program (SEP), the George A. Jackson Assistantship program for graduate students and the George A. Jackson Research Symposium (formerly GMAP). 

Dr. Jackson passed away in 2016, and three funds have now been established to ensure his legacy at Iowa State continues: 

  • The Dr. George A. Jackson Legacy Challenge Endowed Scholarship: provides financial aid to first generation African American students 
  • The Dr. George A. Jackson Legacy Challenge Emergency Fund Endowment: provides emergency funds to African American students
  • The George Jackson Black Cultural Center Fund: supports programmatic activities of the Black Cultural Center

We hope you will join us in honoring his legacy through the support of these funds and by sharing this project so others can learn about Dr. Jackson's transformative efforts from the beginning of students journeys-including recruitment and retention- up to their graduation and the impact he made on countless individuals. 

His legacy lives on in the people and programs who work every day to support continuous learning and student success for Cyclones, and this work is rooted in Dr. Jackson's belief that if students were provided with both opportunities and challenges, they would maximize their talents and minimize their limitations. Your support provides these opportunities and helps students overcome the challenges they face, and we thank you for ensuring that Cyclones now and in the future continue to benefit from Dr. Jackson's incredible legacy. 

You can contribute by clicking on the “Make a Gift” button at the top of this page. If you have questions, or would like to discuss your gift with an ISU Foundation staff member, please email fundisu@foundation.iastate.edu or call 515-294-8536. Checks can be made payable to ISU Foundation, noting the fund of your choice in the memo line, and mailed to:

ISU Foundation

PO Box 2230

Ames, IA 50010

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