In Memoriam: James Jackson
James Oliver Jackson, a professor emeritus of biological sciences, died early July 16 on his 72nd birthday. He had a massive stroke two weeks earlier.
Jackson, who taught from 1972 to 2005, was a highly active and respected member of the biological sciences department. In addition to teaching microbiology courses, he served as associate department chair and coordinator of the microbiology section for many years.
Jackson shared his passion and expertise with the College of Science and the university by serving on many committees and organizations. He was part of Science Educational Enhancement Services (SEES) in the College of Science, the Athletic Board, the Catalog and Curriculum Committee, the National Black Engineering and Science Student Organization, and the Association for the Advancement of Black Science Students.
After his retirement, he stayed active in the department and microbiology research by attending weekly journal club meetings, as well as thesis proposal and defense presentations, where he offered his expertise in microbiology research techniques. In fact, he visited Cal Poly Pomona for one such meeting a day before his stroke.
Faculty and staff remember Jackson as a great scholar, teacher and advisor who was loved by his students and had a great sense of humor.
"When I was department chair in the 1990s, I remember waves of students coming to tell me how much they appreciated Dr. Jackson, his teaching, and his patient and insightful advising," says former department chair Gil Brum. "When we went through our first major budget crisis, Jim did everything he could do to find answers that would not compromise quality for our students. It was a pleasure to work with him. Dr. James Oliver Jackson was a true gentleman and a remarkably talented professor."
Jackson is survived by his wife of 47 years, Geraldine Jackson; daughter Jamie Jackson; two brothers; and one sister.
A memorial service is scheduled at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 21 at St. Joseph Church, 877 N. Campus Avenue, Upland.