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Professor Emeritus Richard Jackson

Richard A. Jackson

Richard A. JacksonRichard A. Jackson, Political Science 1966-1997: Culver-Stockton College BA 1957, University of Missouri MA 1966, additional graduate hours at Texas Tech University.

Born (1934) during the Depression on a tenant farm south of Memphis, Missouri. Richard was one of four children (sisters Charlene, Elaine and Orvettamay) in the family of Charley and Neva Jackson. After losing his own farm, Charley was an ardent fan of the New Deal because of the work opportunities afforded by the PWA and the REA programs.

Richard attended one-room schools with the names Edinburg, Hazel Hill, and Cedar Grove. In 1947, in a school of fourteen and a class of three, he completed eighth grade at Plum College Elementary under the tutelage of Miss Helen Found. At 5' 2" and nicknamed "Shorty" he graduated Granger High School in 1951. There were nine seniors and a total of 37 students, nineteen boys and eighteen girls, at GHS his senior year. Shorty didn't date much. He did enjoy baseball, basketball and a dedicated teacher, Nelda Jones, who taught him pereservance and typing. Upon graduation he went to work so he could purchase a used '47 Ford with a flathead V/8.

Two years later working on a Santa Fe Railroad extra-gang out of Perry, Oklahoma, he heard a loud voice and saw a bright light. The loud voice was track superintendent, A.F. Ewert, telling him to "quit this gandy dancing job and go to college." The bright light was the Super Chief and right on time.

Uncle Jack and Aunt Hannah May Buck provided room-n-board when he enrolled in Culver-Stockton College at Canton, Missouri. At this small Christian college of some 400 small christians, he majored in American History and joined Mu Theta Nu Fraternity. It was from these 50's "animal house" environs, Shorty dated a dozen college women from four different states but had to sell his car to stay in school.

During the Korean War era, one "brother" applied to divinity school while others got married and started families as ways of avoiding military service. Richard enlisted in the Army Reserve for his college deferment and later served two hitches on active duty. On his 1958 return he found a mid-year elementary teaching position in Quincy, Illinois. A married teacher had become pregnant and policy did not allow pregnant teachers to walk around in front of elementary students.

Between 1959 and 1964, Richard worked public relations at Culver-Stockton, was recalled to active duty, and married Alice Jo Harper. The wedding ceremony was conducted by her father, sans shotgun, in Salisbury, Missouri. Three children (Andy, Sally and Clay) have added meaningful dimensions to their marriage.

Richard taught at WT from 1966 through 1997. Favorite subjects were American Government, Judicial Process, and Introduction to Criminal Justice Adm. Benchmarks include: 1966-Instructor of Government (salary $6,750); 1974-Assistant Professor of Political Science; 1977-Director of Criminal Justice Administration; 1979-Associate Membership on the Graduate Faculty; 1982-Associate Professor of Political Science; 1997-Retired, and 2001 Professor Emeritus.