Jackson State History

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. In February 2004, Dr. Bruce Blanding began his tenure to lead Jackson State to a greater fulfillment of its vision to serve as the community's college until his retirement in 2016. Dr. Allana Hamilton was appointed as the fifth president of the college in January of 2017 and worked to expand educational access to West Tennesseans until her appointing to the Tennessee Board of Regents in October of 2019.  In July of 2020, Dr. George Pimentel was appointed as the sixth president of the college during the COVID-19 pandemic where he navigated the college through many challenges faced as a result of the pandemic until his retirement in June of 2023.

Jackson State has continuously enrolled students since September 29th, 1967. The fall semester of 2017 will commemorate the college’s 50th anniversary.