A 1975 alum at Jackson State University has allied with Shell Oil Co., where he had worked nearly 38 years, to contribute $10,000 to the JSU Presidential Challenge via the JSU Development Foundation.
Jimmie Harmon presented the matching gift to interim President Rod Paige on Monday because “if it weren’t for Jackson State, I would not have been working for Shell Oil Co. Before you could put in an application for employment at Shell, you had to have college degree.”
Harmon said, “Hopefully, this gift will help close the gap for what Dr. Paige is trying to do. We all know the challenges ahead of us. You can’t go a mile unless you take the first step. Many corporations have funds available, so it’s up to us as constituents and alumni to seek and look for them.”
Relative to the need of the university, Paige said this gift is enormous because it comes from the heart of a singular alumnus. He told Harmon that “our appreciation to you is huge, and to other alums, who make similar contributions such as this. I’m an alumnus, and I made such a contribution. And, I invite those who have not contributed to give some thought to this. It’s important. I know that in the hearts of others they realize what this university has meant to them. The university needs that support now.”
Sandra Hodge, JSU interim vice president for Institutional Advancement, said Harmon’s donation speaks to our efforts of encouraging alumni to step up their giving. This allows other alums to see that others are giving and that funding opportunities exist with employers matching their gifts. This is a great way to show the different ways to give – whether through churches, affiliated groups, individuals or employees.”
Meanwhile, Harmon said, “JSU has more than 40,000 alums. If everyone gives something it will make a huge impact. I hope my gift will help the larger goal.”