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Dr. Marcus L. Thompson Appointed President of Jackson State University

Posted By: Sofía Montiel on December 01, 2023

Jackson State University’s new president Marcus Thompson outlined student safety on campus as one of his priorities to help the university grow and succeed, during his welcoming ceremony Thursday.

Thompson opened the ceremony by giving thanks to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) for placing the responsibility in his hands to lead his alma mater.

Thompson previously served as IHL Deputy Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer. Thompson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and Spanish and a Master’s degree in Education from Mississippi College. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Jackson State University in urban higher education.

“I am proud to serve as the 13th president of Jackson State University,” Thompson said. “My time at Jackson State University certainly played a pivotal role in my life. I look forward to enhancing that experience for the next generation of tigers, who walk these hallowed halls. And I'm proud to stand on the shoulders of every president who has come before me.”

The university has seen its fair share of presidents since 2000: Ronald Mason Jr. (2000-2010); Leslie Burl McLemore (Interim in 2010); Carolyn W. Meyers (2011-2016); Rod Paige (interim in 2016-2017); William B. Bynum (2017-2020); Thomas Hudson (2020-2023); and Elayne Hayes-Anthony who was appointed in March of this year as the acting president.

The last three full-time JSU presidents have left amid some controversy.

Thompson assumed the role on November 27th, after being appointed earlier this month.

Thompson said he is "diving in, full steam ahead" by meeting with stakeholders of the Jackson State community to shape students' experiences, emphasizing the importance of campus safety.




Safety on JSU campus has become a topic of concern among students and staff after an October **** resulted in the death of one of its students, Jaylen Burns.

According to Thompson, safety measures such as increased cameras on campus are currently being enhanced.

Thompson spoke about the loss of Burn’s life, stating that on the second day of his presidency, he asked his team to arrange a call with Jaylen's family. He hasn't spoken to them yet. Thompson made no comments on the two alleged suspects who were released from police custody. An investigation continues.

Thompson said as JSU moves to increase safety for students, he believes it is important for him to have first-hand knowledge of what students on campus are experiencing.

He said he will integrate with the students by moving into the President’s Home by the end of this year and listening to their perspectives on campus-related issues. Thompson said the JSU students are a priority of his, naming them as the “North Star” of his administration.

“This campus is my home too, and I want everyone to feel safe, day and night,” Thompson said.

In addition to campus safety, he said he will emphasize the importance of financial stability and bridge building as he continues to talk with faculty and staff.

In Thompson’s closing remarks to the media, faculty and staff, he once again shared his gratitude for the position and his “honor and privilege” to lead JSU.

“One of the things I would like to say (is that) I’m so happy to be bleeding blue. And I hope all of you are bleeding blue as well," Thompson said. "Let’s take that passion and turn it into productivity for the university so that we can achieve all of the things we need to help our students be successful."


SOURCE Clarion-Ledger News
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Dr. Marcus L. Thompson Appointed President of Jackson State University

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