hl TvEuqyoFAGRFf,rrEAH (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 lll:",':,T;'Ji^'; bel?:*l:-JT_ulrlb se mona,and tItflUStffi arc nplu dfs' DrJackson :l:]":.'J ,:l'::Itilil, bacausa you1r1be usup, andW yonr11:1,:1, l" "]'1. 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.