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Motivational speaker, "Outstanding Alumnus" to speak at commencement

November 19, 2002

A Dayton, Ohio, resident and APSU alumnus has been chosen to give the keynote speech at the 2002 Winter Commencement.

Jack Jackson will address more than 400 candidates for graduation, along with their families and friends, at 3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13 in APSU's Winfield Dunn Center.

Jackson was on campus Nov. 9 for Homecoming at which he received the APSU National Alumni Association's 2002 Outstanding Alumnus Award. This newly established award is designated for select alumni who, through outstanding achievements in their profession, business, community, state or nation, have brought a high level of honor and pride to the University.

Jackson earned a master's degree in history from APSU in 1974. His bachelor's degree is from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond.

He was the first African-American president of the EKU National Alumni Association, and he was tapped to the EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni in Fall 2001.

In addition to his work as youth coordinator for the Dayton Metropolitan Housing Authority, Jackson is gaining increased recognition as a motivational speaker.

As head of Jack Jackson Motivation Inc., he has been invited to talk to groups nationwide. One such speaking engagement was to 1,000 people in the Cincinnati Convention Center, where Jackson was the convening speaker for a conference sponsored by the University of Cincinnati.

In addition to continuing his work with the Dayton Metropolitan Housing Authority and accepting a growing number of speaking engagements, Jackson is writing his autobiography, titled “I Gotta Say It.”

Jackson gives credit to his longtime friend, Lou Holtz, former head football coach for the University of Notre Dame, for encouraging him to get into motivational speaking. As an endorsement, Holtz wrote, “Listen to what Jack Jackson has to say. He has the answers.”

By personal example, Jackson reflects the value of a positive attitude and self-motivation. He continues to inspire people through his community and church activities, motivational speeches, published articles and his Web site (

He is a member of the Association of Christian Athletes, Dayton Urban League, NAACP, Christian Appalachian Project, Kiwanis International, Full Gospel Fellowship of Businessmen International and the Dayton Youth Golf Academy.

Jackson and his wife of 35 years, Shirley, have two adult children.