In recognizing the Rev. Solomon Jackson Jr. at a worship service and dedication Thursday, Morris College Board of Trustees Chairman the Rev. Mack Hines described there are three different kind of people.
"I can proudly say this man whom we are …
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"I can proudly say this man whom we are honoring today, he did not wonder what is happening in the world, he did not watch things happen, but he made things happen," Hines said.
Hines, other college officials and Sumter leaders honored Jackson, a Morris alum, on Thursday with the dedication of the college's new Administration Building at an annual pre-Easter worship service in the Neal Jones Auditorium on campus.
Eight years ago, in 2010, shortly after hitting the jackpot and winning $260 million in the state's Powerball Mega-Millions lottery, Jackson gave $10 million to the college. In addition to the construction of the Administration Building, portions of Jackson's gift were used to provide endowed student scholarships, construct a new dormitory and aid in the construction of a new student health services center, among other designated uses, according to the college.
The message delivered by Jackson, a pastor since the late 1970s in the Midlands, focused on God being with His people in difficult times as depicted in numerous books from the Bible and how that relates to current challenges the college faces.
Jackson, also a member the Board of Trustees, did not pinpoint any specific challenges in his spirited message.
The Sumter Item has previously reported that five current and former Morris students filed a class-action lawsuit for health issues related to mold infestation on the campus in November. The college is the defendant in the case. According to the suit filed by a Charleston litigation attorney, the plaintiffs are seeking at least $55 million in damages.
"Morris, the Lord will see you through," Jackson said. "Be not dismayed whatever we face; God will take care of you."
Interim Morris College President Leroy Staggers called Jackson a philanthropist in the truest sense of the word. He noted the term "philanthropist" originally meant a lover of mankind, not necessarily a person who gives money.
"We thank you again, Dr. Jackson," Staggers said, "for being a lover of mankind and Morris College."
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