Alumnus Alphonso Jackson, former U.S. Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, donated a personal collection to Truman State from his time as part of George W. Bush’s Administration.
Jackson is coming to Truman Feb. 8 and 9 to attend a dedication ceremony for the collection, which consists of photographs, awards Jackson has received and memorabilia such as an Air Force One blanket. The dedication ceremony is 3 p.m. Feb. 8 in Pickler Memorial Library and is open to the public.
Jackson received a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in education administration from Truman, then known as Northeast Missouri State College, during 1969.
Richard Coughlin, Dean of Libraries and Museums, said Jackson contacted Truman several years ago about donating the collection. After working out the details of the donation, Amanda Langendoerfer, Head of Special Collections and Archives, and Janet Romine, Head of Library Public Services, said they went to the artifacts’ location in Alexandria, Va. and packed up the collection to be shipped to the University.
“He was looking to find a home for these artifacts,” Coughlin said. “He feels his time here was instrumental in forming his success. He had a lot of mentors here. He’s very fond of the University.”
The majority of the collection currently is displayed in the library’s gallery, Langendoerfer said. She said the exhibit will be removed from the gallery during the end of February, and a portion of the exhibit will be displayed in Special Collections, with the rest going into storage.
“This highlights for us what an alum from this school can achieve,” Coughlin said. “He’s served the country at a very high level. How many people sit next to the President and have a chat about policy?”
Coughlin said Jackson will meet with two classes and have lunch with students from the political science department and Multicultural Affairs while he’s in town for the ceremony.