In 1963, the Tennessee General Assembly responded to recommendations made in the Pierce-Albright Report by establishing a group of state community colleges. Jackson State was selected as the first such institution in West Tennessee.
Dr. F.E. Wright was appointed the first president of Jackson State on March 15, 1967, and served the institution with distinction until his death on May 15, 1976. Dr. Walter L. Nelms assumed the presidency in July of 1976 and led the college toward continued progress until his retirement in June of 1997. In July of 1997, Dr. Charlie D. Roberts, Jr., became Jackson State's third president and continued the journey to bring greater opportunities to the people of West Tennessee until his retirement in February of 2004. The current president, Dr. Bruce Blanding, began his tenure on February 16, 2004 and is leading Jackson State to a greater fulfillment of its vision to serve as the community's college.