‘Look and feel’ of SMCM called Jack­son’s legacy

Vice pres­i­dent of fi­nance who has worn many other hats set to re­tire af­ter 32 years

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By JAC­QUI ATKIELSKI jatkiel­ski@somd­news.com

Af­ter guid­ing four ad­min­is­tra­tions through some­times choppy wa­ters at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land, Charles “Chip” Jack­son is set to re­tire af­ter 32 years of ser­vice at the cam­pus com­mu­nity.

The col­lege vice pres­i­dent of busi­ness and fi­nance said it “was one of the hard­est de­ci­sions I’ve ever had to make.”

Jack­son, 60, of St. Mary’s City said he was ini­tially hired on as a project man­ager, and con­tributed to the cre­ation of the Town­house Greene, where events like the col­lege’s com­mence­ment cer­e­mony and the sum­mer River Con­cert Series are hosted. Other projects he worked on in­clude the ex­pan­sion and ren­o­va­tion of the col­lege li­brary and sev­eral new aca­demic build­ings.

It’s been “a joy to be a part of,” he said.

Jack­son has served as the col­lege’s vice pres­i­dent for busi­ness and fi­nance since

2013. In that ca­pac­ity, he’s over­seen busi­ness af­fairs, fa­cil­i­ties plan­ning and op­er­a­tions, hu­man re­sources, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and gov­ern­ment re­la­tions, ac­cord­ing to the col­lege web­site.

Prior to that po­si­tion, Jack­son served as the col­lege’s as­so­ciate vice pres­i­dent for plan­ning and fa­cil­i­ties, lead­ing the col­lege’s mas­ter plan­ning as well as de­sign and con­struc­tion ef­forts. His work led to mul­ti­ple awards for ar­chi­tec­ture and sus­tain­abil­ity ini­tia­tives.

He said he’s en­joyed sup­port­ing the cam­pus and help­ing fac­ulty, staff and stu­dents suc­ceed at the col­lege.

In a 2013 col­lege re­lease, Jack­son led a va­ri­ety of col­lege ini­tia­tives

in­clud­ing stu­dent hous­ing ex­pan­sion and re­newal plan­ning, pro­cure­ment pol­icy, the cam­pus pub, food ser­vice plan­ning, the an­nual Gover­nor’s Cup Yacht Race, and new mod­els for the River Con­cert Series.

Jack­son earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in civil en­gi­neer­ing from the Univer­sity of Vir­ginia and a mas­ter’s de­gree in busi­ness from Web­ster Col­lege.

Of his suc­ces­sor, Paul Pusecker, Jack­son said he will be “bet­ter than Chip Jack­son.”

Pusecker said in an April re­lease that he is “ex­cited and hon­ored to be given this tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity. … I look for­ward to work­ing with all of the cam­pus con­stituen­cies to con­tinue to ad­vance” the col­lege.

Pusecker “will be ter­rific [in sup­port­ing] the

cam­pus com­mu­nity,” Jack­son said, adding that he thinks he’s “leav­ing the col­lege in good hands.”

Jack­son said he would also “greatly miss work­ing with Dr. Jor­dan to net­work with state rep­re­sen­ta­tives for more col­lege fund­ing.

SMCM Pres­i­dent Tua­juanda Jor­dan said “Chip has been re­spon­si­ble for the look and feel” of the col­lege. “It’s a unique cam­pus set­ting and it’s like none other,” she said.

Jor­dan said when she first met Jack­son in 2014, “he seemed so South­ern and gen­teel,” po­lite and re­fined.

“I con­sider Chip a friend [and] brother,” she said, re­fer­ring to the mul­ti­ple trips the pair have made to An­napo­lis. She said Jack­son is “an ex­cel­lent gov­ern­ment li­ai­son” and helped “nav­i­gate the halls

of An­napo­lis” to make con­nec­tions with lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

He’s go­ing to “be re­ally hard to re­place in that re­spect,” she said.

Jor­dan said Jack­son will “just roll up his sleeves and get the job done … what­ever the need is.”

Mike O’Brien, St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land Foun­da­tion board mem­ber, said he first met Jack­son while work­ing on the col­lege board of trustees’ build­ings and grounds com­mit­tee. “The col­lege was phys­i­cally grow­ing” and the pair worked to­gether through sev­eral con­struc­tion chal­lenges, he said.

Jack­son has worked with four dif­fer­ent col­lege ad­min­is­tra­tions that “re­lied on him,” O’Brien said.

He said Jack­son is an avid fish­er­man, and “he’s a hard guy not to like.”

Col­lege trustee Gail Har­mon said she met Jack­son when she joined the board of trustees 10 years ago. She said there was a “dif­fi­cult pe­riod” dur­ing the sum­mer of 2013 when the col­lege “needed an act­ing pres­i­dent” once Joseph Urgo did not have his con­tract re­newed with the col­lege af­ter a short­fall in fund­ing and en­roll­ment. She said Jack­son “did a huge ser­vice to the col­lege” by fill­ing the po­si­tion on a temporary ba­sis and work­ing with the dean of fac­ulty “in hold­ing things to­gether” prior to Jor­dan’s tak­ing the helm.

Har­mon said when Jack­son isn’t work­ing, he en­joys kayak­ing, fish­ing and “is ac­tive in the lo­cal yacht club. He’s a cool guy [who] loves the out­doors and the com­mu­nity,” Har­mon said. “He’s very en­er­getic.”

She said prior to work­ing at the col­lege, Jack­son was in­volved in con­tract­ing and build­ing with the Navy.

“The Navy makes you move ev­ery three years,” and Jack­son even­tu­ally “wanted a com­mu­nity” to call home, Har­mon said.

“Rather than move on, he took the risk of join­ing the col­lege,” she said.

She said she didn’t doubt that Jack­son would con­tinue to be in­volved with the col­lege af­ter re­tir­ing, and that he would “be missed tremen­dously.” She said that Jack­son “cares so much for the col­lege.”

Along with hav­ing more op­por­tu­ni­ties out­doors, Har­mon said Jack­son would spend his re­tire­ment “en­joy­ing more time with his wife [Emily Jack­son] and grand­chil­dren.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Charles “Chip” Jack­son, right, points to a blue­print de­sign of the new aca­demic build­ing to be built at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land while Gra­ham Gund of Gund Part­ner­ship ar­chi­tec­ture and plan­ning firm leans in.

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