106th Birthday Proclamation for Mrs. Magnoila Jackson

106th Birthday Proclamation for Mrs. Magnoila Jackson

Members of the Bethune-Cookman University community celebrated the 106th birthday of Ms. Magnolia Jackson, B-CU’s most senior living alumna, in Gainesville March 14. Ms. Jackson received a Bachelor of Science in education from Bethune-Cookman College in 1944 and was guided by the visionary leadership of our founder in her pursuit of a career in education. 

Dr. Crystal deGregory, director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Center for the Study of Women and Girls, joined Travis George ’04, president of the North Central Florida Regional Bethune-Cookman Alumni Association, at a celebration hosted by the city of Gainesville honoring Ms. Jackson on her birthday. They presented her with a proclamation and a portrait of Dr. Bethune on behalf of the university.


WHEREAS, Mrs. Magnolia Jackson, a beacon of inspiration and embodiment of resilience, graced this world on March 14, 1918, in the quaint yet vibrant community of Rochelle nestled in the heart of southeast Alachua County, Florida;

WHEREAS, Mrs. Jackson's journey of excellence began at Lincoln High School in Gainesville, the second fully accredited high school for Black students in the state of Florida, from which she graduated with distinction in 1935, laying the foundation for her remarkable educational pursuits;

WHEREAS, Guided by the visionary leadership of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune during her tenure as president of Bethune-Cookman College, Mrs. Jackson found her calling and was deeply moved by the Founder's unwavering commitment to providing educational opportunities for Black students;

WHEREAS, Mrs. Jackson's indomitable spirit led her to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Bethune-Cookman College in 1944, thereby etching her name in history as the trailblazer who not only shattered barriers but also ignited a legacy of learning within her own family for generations to come;

WHEREAS, With an unwavering dedication spanning four decades, Mrs. Jackson devoted herself to the Alachua County School System, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of countless Black children through her tireless efforts as an educator, shaping minds and nurturing futures with boundless love and compassion;

WHEREAS, Mrs. Jackson's illustrious career culminated in her proud stewardship as the esteemed principal of the historically-Black Rochelle Elementary School until its closure in 1977, where her visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence set a standard of academic achievement that endures to this day;

WHEREAS, all of Wildcat Nation stands in awe of Mrs. Jackson's extraordinary legacy, which serves as a shining example of a life lived with purpose, passion, and unwavering dedication to the betterment of others;

THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, with hearts overflowing with admiration and gratitude, that in our 120th year, on behalf of the Bethune-Cookman University Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, that we extend our warmest greetings and heartfelt wishes for a happy and joyous 106th birthday to the incomparable Mrs. Magnolia Jackson of Gainesville, Florida, on March 14, 2024!

SIGNED THIS DATE: March 14, 2024   

William Berry, Ph.D.

Acting President and Provost

106th Birthday