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(1936- 2009)
Dr.T.G.Jackson
This semester,the membersof AED's Board were in
the thick of planning for our March 2008 Biennial
Convention, with a last minute changeof venue making preparationparticularly stressful. Needlessto say,
we were BUSY!
Monthsbeforehand,Dr. T.G. Jackson,our belovedNational President,had informed the Board that he would
Dance when there is music.
Dancing is great exercise. It brings people together.
It certainly allowed an Organic Chemistry professor
from Alabama, who was born before World War II, to
connect with young people from all over the United
States,who were born after the PersianGulf War.
If you really believein something,give someof your
er'lye al€ stanrllrron $e $ouldersof rfants.X.#tothat
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bel?:*l:-JT_ulrlb se mona,and tItflUStffi arc nplu dfs' DrJackson
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,:l'::Itilil, bacausa
you1r1be
usup, andW yonr11:1,:1,
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to,present
.D*gl€dl staUn,
Jackson with a -
over forty years,
he was married
to his wife, Brenda,belongedto the samechurch,and
taught at the sameinstitution, making him the longest
serving faculty member at the University of SouthA1abama.
Dr. JacksonservedAED for almost thirty years. He
becamea member of AED in 1980, was electedRegional Director in 1992,and at the 1998 Convention,
he was electedNational Vice President. T.G. planned
the 2000 Conventionin Memphis,which still holds the
record as the Conventionwith the larsest number of
dd b ouF.'
thank-you gift for his contribution to the Society - a
small token that could convey our appreciation. We
settledon a lovely wooden clock with a spacefor an
engravedmessage.The messageselectedwas:
"We are standingon the shouldersof giants.We see
more, and things that are more distant,becauseyou
raiseus up, and by your greatstature,add to ours."
When I presentedthe clock to Dr. Jacksonat Convention, I cried like a baby and could barely squeakout
the words of the quote, followed by a heartfelt, "thank
you".
As his serviceto the Board drew to a close, this article was suggestedas a way to publicly conveyappreciation for all of Dr. Jackson'swork with AED. The
Board wanted Dr. Jackson(and our membership)to
know just how much he had doneforAED, how much
positive impact he had on our Society,and how grateful we were for his contribution.
We waited too long to publish the article.
Dr. Jacksonpassedaway on August 12,2009. We
simply did not know how little time we had left with
him. His wit was legendaryand his story-tellingwas
unmatched. He was one of the most animated, vital
human beings I have ever met. Here is what I wish
I would have said - to his face and in front of all 600
Convention attendees- at the podium that March evening:
Alabama. Anyone who
knew T.G. knows how much he loved his chapter and
We all could learn a lot from Dr. T.G. Jackson.
how hard he worked to help his students make the
most of the opporhrnitiesaffordedbyAED.
You can't lead and make
Young people have
everyonehappy.
tremendous potenA direct quote spoken in
tial and will generthat beautiful, gentle southally exceed any expectation.
ern drawl of his is, "Some
folks will be mad if you give
Dr. Jacksonexpected
'em a piece of candy!" He
certain things from
understoodthat leading can
members of AED.
sometimes mean making
He thought that they
unpopular decisions. Great
s h o u l db e i n v o l v e di n
leadersdo their best to make
community service,
well-informed decisionsand
expected them to be
thereforemust also shoulder
at the academichead
the fallout of thosedecisions.
of their class. and
He was a master of the rare
challenged them to
talent of combining grace,compassion,and kindness make the most of opportunities to learn about health
with wisdom, directness,and fairness.
care. Officer meetingsfor his chapterwere at 7 AM
on Tuesdaymornings!
Technologyis a means,but connectingis the goal.
Dr. Jacksonrecognizedthat, while modern methods T.G. was fond of sayingthat he did not "give" grades
canfacilitatea conversation,nothingwill evertakethe - his studentsearn them. His studentsreport that his
place of face-toface communication.Looking some- classesare challenging, but that nothing beats the
one in the eye, shakingtheir hand,sharinga meal and senseof accomplishmentthat they gain from working
a story or two are pui of what makesus human; and hard and masteringthe material.
they cannot be replacedby simple email or internet.
His convictionthat we needthis person-to-person
con- He was without a doubt very proud of what AED
tact with eachother madehim one of the sreatestad- membersdo, andthereforewas alsorarely surprisedto
vocatesfor AED's National Convention.
learn of an AED member's amazingaccomplishment.
He alreadybelievedin their potential and understood
that when great things are expected, talented young
peopleusually deliver.
Thank you, T.G. We love you and appreciate
your contributionsto AED. Your dedication
and commitment have inspired us to work
hard to continue the endeavorsof the Societv.
Dr. T.G. Jackson passed from this life on
Wednesday,August 12,2009 at the ageof 72.
He is survivedby his wife, Brenda;son,T.G.;
daughter, Hrica; son-in-law, Lance; granddaughters, Lauren and Rainey; grandson,
Ridge; and countlessstudents,colleaguesand
friendswho count themselvesblessedto have
had the privilege of knowing this gentleman
and scholar.
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