Dr. Thomas "T.G." Jackson, professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, passed away at the age of 73 on Aug. 12 after a battle with cancer.
The Butler, Ala., native and longtime resident of Mobile joined USA's faculty in 1965 and taught in the chemistry department for 43 years.
Among his many notable contributions were his work to create the University of South Alabama College of Medicine Early Acceptance Program and his assistance in writing the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and Dental College Admissions Test (DAT).
Jackson will be remembered as a dedicated mentor to students in the premedical professional fields as founding advisor for the Alabama Zeta chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Delta honor society at USA, which was created in 1980.
"Dr. T.G. Jackson was a legendary figure in the history of the University of South Alabama who helped countless students through his work as a professor and longtime advisor in the health sciences," said President Gordon Moulton. "His highest priority and greatest contribution live on through the accomplishments of the graduates he assisted and the people they have served and healed throughout their careers. The USA family will sorely miss Dr. Jackson."
Jackson served as the regional director for AED in 1992, was elected national vice president in 1998, and served as national president from 2000-2008.
During Jackson's tenure as national president, AED achieved unprecedented growth with 26 new chapters chartered and 29,609 new members. Under his leadership, AED also increased scholarship amounts and established the Virgil Tweedie Scholarship.
In 2008, Jackson was named member emeritus by AED for his more than 30 years of service to the group. He is one of only two AED members to be awarded emeritus status.
"For all of his work with the national leadership, his heart was truly linked with his beloved Alabama Zeta chapter at the University of South Alabama," noted Dr. Lois Wims, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. "Anyone who knew T.G. knew how much he loved his chapter and how hard he worked to help his students make the most of the opportunities afforded by AED, which remains a force for service, scholarship, and making a difference in the lives of students and the community of greater Mobile."
Jackson served on the USA Faculty Senate and was an advisory committee member for the Physician Assistant Program. He also served several terms as a member of the Academic Planning and Placement Committee. Other affiliations include the Southern Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, the State Health Professions Advisors Association, and the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Jackson earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee.
He is survived by his wife, Brenda Rainey Jackson; his son, Thomas Jackson Jr. of Three Rivers, Calif.; his daughter, Erica Jackson Tanner of Mobile; two grandchildren, Rainey and Ridge; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Aug. 15. The family has requested donations be made to the T.G. Jackson AED Scholarship Fund. Contributions should be mailed to the USA Development Office, TRP 111, Suite 2150, Mobile, AL, 36688.