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Larry Artope Jackson

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Larry Jackson, first provost of Callison College passes away at 92

Nov 15, 2017

February 7, 1925 - Nov. 7, 2017

Larry Artope Jackson, former dean of the chapel and provost of Callison College, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Greenwood, South Carolina, at age 92.  

Jackson joined the faculty of University of the Pacific in 1964 as dean of the chapel. He was appointed acting provost of Raymond College from Feb. 1 to July 1, 1966, during a research leave of the college's provost Walter B. Martin. In 1968, he became the first provost of newly formed Callison College, the third cluster college established at Pacific. During his tenure at Callison College, Jackson developed the study abroad program in Bangalore, India. He and his family lived in Bangalore during the second year of the program. The Bangalore study abroad program became a signature part of the Callison experience, which took the entire sophomore class abroad for an entire year. While at Pacific. he also earned a Master of Arts in education from the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education.  

Jackson left Pacific in 1970 to become the vice president for finance at the University of Evansville in Indiana where he again set up an international study abroad program in Harlaxton, England. His last post was as ninth president of Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina, where he became president in 1973 (then Lander College) and served 19 years before retiring in 1992. The university's library was named the Larry A. Jackson Library in his honor. At his retirement, he was the state's longest-serving state college president and was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by the governor for his service to the state, recognizing Lander's growth in enrollment from 900 to 2,700 and an increase in Lander Foundation assets from $325,000 to $4 million during his tenure.  

The South Carolina native began his education at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, but left school to volunteer for the Army Air Corps during WWII. He reached the rank of first lieutenant and served as a navigator of B-17 bombers in the 388th bomb group flying from Knettishall, England. He flew 26 missions before VE day for which he was awarded the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters. After the war, he returned to Wofford to finish his degree  and then went to Munich, Germany, to work with the American Friends Service Committee teaching in displaced person camps and setting up a library and study center. This experience had a marked influence on his later career in higher education. He later earned a Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York city, where he studied with renowned theologians Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich.  

Jackson was a visiting fellow at Wolfson College at Cambridge University and Lanzhou University in China. In recognition of his contributions to higher education, he was awarded honorary doctorates from Clemson University, Wofford College and Lander University, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from the University of the Pacific in 1961.            

He is survived by his wife Barbara Atwood Jackson with whom he enjoyed 64 years of marriage, his four children, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. A service in his memory will be held Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. at Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium at Lander University. The family will visit with friends in the Larry A. Jackson Library following the service.  

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