The Jackson State Community College Foundation is excited to announce the keynote speaker for its second annual scholarship banquet. Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith will bring a message of leadership, teamwork, and what it takes to succeed in business and in life. The event will be Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
Smith is a well-known NFL icon, Pro Football Hall of Famer, businessman, TV star, and philanthropist. Additionally, Smith worked to prepare himself for a career and life after football by completing his college education while playing professional football.
“We are privileged to have Emmitt Smith for this event,” said Dee Henderson, Jackson State’s director of development and alumni affairs. “His message is definitely one that many of us can identify with. The event is to raise funds for student scholarships. We know Emmitt believes in education.”
The nonprofit Jackson State Community College Foundation is the school’s top fundraising arm and will sell sponsorships, tables and seating for the event to support various needs on campus.
“Our goal is to increase scholarships for our students who have financial needs that they cannot meet,” Allana Hamilton, JSCC president, said. “We offer educational opportunities, to citizens of West Tennessee and beyond, that effect not only their lives but have a strong economic impact on our region by providing an educated workforce.”
The Foundation’s board of directors chose to host Emmitt Smith as a guest speaker because he is a well-known sports personality with wide appeal in many facets of life including business, television, and philanthropic endeavors, Henderson said.
Emmitt Smith is known to many for his stint on the 2006 season of “Dancing with the Stars” TV show on ABC. He was the mirror-ball champion that year and also returned to the show in 2012 for the first-ever All-Stars season of the program.
Hamilton said she wants the community to attend the Jackson State Foundation Banquet to not only support the Foundation, but also to have an opportunity to hear Smith firsthand. The fundraising banquet is in its second year and is planned to be an annual event with keynote presentations from nationally recognized speakers.
The first banquet last year featured Lt. Col. Oliver North as the keynote speaker. “The response to Lt. Col. North last year was overwhelmingly positive and provided the college an excellent beginning for holding a banquet of this magnitude,” said Henderson.
The Foundation will continue to look for interesting speakers who can address important topical issues to provide value to the community while raising funds and awareness for the college, Henderson said.
“Jackson State Community College is proud to be a part of the West Tennessee community, and we are proud of our students and graduates,” Henderson said. “We’re also very proud of the relationships we have built with others in West Tennessee, including with businesses and industry.”
Tickets and tables for the event can be purchased by calling the civic center box office at 731-425-8587.