LIFETIME TROJAN: Presented with a lifetime induction into the USC Trojan Marching Band, Honorary Band Member Michael L. Jackson holds his Trojan helmet as the band director speaks.
The University of Southern California wished a fond farewell to one of their own, April 29 with a grand reception for retiring administrator Michael L. Jackson held in the downstairs ballroom of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center on USC’s campus.
Jackson, a 16 year veteran of the USC culture, stood facing the Trojan Marching band, which played a tribute song and honored him with a lifetime induction as an honorary member of the Trojan Marching band and presented him with a golden band helmet.
Patrice Theard, Assistant Director of the Black Alumni Association at USC said, “We are so honored to be on Dr. Jackson’s team here at USC. He has done an incredible, incredible job with focusing on students, leading the way with everything he has accomplished here. And we are honored to be able to continue his vision in our world at the Black Alumni Association Office and bringing alumni together and supporting the students on behalf of their success here at USC and when they leave the university.”
Jackson, the retiring Vice President for Student Affairs and professor of higher education in the USC Rossier School of Education, is the former dean of students at Stanford University and is a commissioner of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), an organization that directs accreditations of higher learning institutions across the Pacific Basin.
“I dedicated myself to serve students,” said Jackson, standing front stage, inside the Tutor Center. One of Jackson’s many projects as Vice President of Student Affairs was implementing plans to erect new facilities that benefits the student population at USC, including the building that he was being honored in, the Tutor Center Complex.
“I’m sad, and excited for Mr. Jackson,” reported an emotional Corless Bennet-McBride. “He is responsible for bringing me out of Enrolment Services and transferring me here to Student Affairs 14 years ago. Because of him I have grown as a professional within student affairs that I have run with [Jackson’s] direction. He is just a great and powerful man.” McBride is the Director of the Center for Black Cultural Affairs at USC.
Honored as a leader in education, Jackson received his B.S. in anthropology, with distinction, from Stanford University and his master’s and doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and admits that the best part of his job at USC was, “Partnering with students on great projects, over the years.” Over those 16 years, he has been responsible for many facilities, academic programs, support programs, and some of his most enjoyable aspects are “just being with [the students].”
According to Jackson, the key to his success at USC has been “low ego, and high results.”
“I’m going to take a year off to refresh and do some reading, some writing, do some traveling,” continued Jackson, his airy voice suggestive of his years of hard work and service to the USC community. “Then I’ll come back and do some fundraising and teach in the school of education.”
“We want to thank Michael Jackson for all his years of dedication and service to our organization, to the university at large, and to our community,” said Simeon R. Stewart II, CEO of Palazzo Concessions.
For more information on USC or the distinguished career of Michael L. Jackson, go to http://www.provost.usc.edu/senior-administration/michael-l-jackson/