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Alumni Awards Inspire 2021

All-University Award Recipient

ALUMNI OF THE YEAR AWARD

JacksonsTerry Hall Jackson, Nurs ’87, and Darren R. Jackson, Bus Ad ’86  
Saint Paul, Minn. and Milwaukee

Terry and Darren took very different paths to Marquette. She was a fourth-generation legacy, while he was a first-generation college student. But when Terry administered the Eucharist to Darren at a Gesu Sunday Mass, he knew she was the girl for him. They have been partners ever since and, today, dedicate themselves to giving back, leading initiatives to support their alma mater and enabling quality education for limited income students.

When they married in 1988, Terry was a nurse at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Darren was embarking on a career in the retail industry. Eventually, Darren’s career took them to Nordstrom in Seattle and then Minneapolis for a CFO role at Best Buy, Inc. During that time, Terry focused on raising their three children. Darren capped his career with eight years as CEO of Advance Auto Parts, which became the largest auto-parts retailer in North America. Retired in 2016, he and Terry now focus full-time on philanthropic endeavors.

It’s a trajectory Darren could have hardly imagined as a Catholic school boy growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His parents prioritized college for their three boys, and he would be the first in his family to go. An average student with unremarkable test scores, Darren chose Marquette because his best friend was going there and the Freshman Frontier program gave him the opportunity.

“What I took away from Marquette is that who is in your life matters,” he says. “Whether it’s the faculty, the Jesuits, my roommates and their commitment, their resilience … these relationships matter.”

For Terry, who pursued nursing so she could serve others, Marquette was “one of the best decisions of my life.” The two women she looked up to most, her mother and grandmother, were educated there. Both are strong, intelligent and fun women with unfailing moral compasses. At Marquette, Terry became more grounded in her faith.

The Jacksons have supported their alma mater with an abundance of time, talent and treasure. Darren served 12 years on the Board of Trustees, including three years as chair. The couple was active in CIRCLES events while two of their three children attended Marquette. Recently, they were instrumental in the launch of the President’s Advisory Council as founding co-chairs. They also are generous supporters of Marquette Athletics as donors to the Men’s Basketball Excellence Fund.

Their unparalleled dedication to the College of Nursing ranges from establishing the All-In Marquette Nursing Scholarship for limited income students, to Terry chairing the college’s campaign committee, to financial assistance that supports Nursing leadership with strategic planning. “Darren and I think there is no other college on campus that better epitomizes the Jesuit values of cura personalis and educating men and women for and with others.  The pandemic has revealed a desperate need for more qualified, caring nurses as well as a lack of diversity in the nursing profession. Marquette's College of Nursing is ready to meet those needs with a future expansion that’s expected to graduate 5,000 highly trained nurses in the next decade, including 1,000 from diverse backgrounds. The college truly is making a difference,” says Terry. 

Inspired by their work with the Cristo Rey high school network and the Minneapolis-based Wallin Educational Partners, Terry and Darren founded and now prioritize All-In Milwaukee, a nonprofit that supports high-potential, limited income Milwaukee students as they navigate college. Through financial aid, advising, networking and career-readiness support, All-In Milwaukee's ultimate goal is to help their students complete college, build careers, and transform Milwaukee.

Darren still marvels at the “enormous impact” Marquette has had on generations of Terry’s family, his own life and the lives of his children. He’s humbled to receive an alumni award. Terry agrees, adding, “We are grateful and blessed for all Marquette gave us.”

Fun Facts:

Darren and Terry are “dual citizens” of St. Paul and Milwaukee, which keeps them close to Marquette and to their work with All-In Milwaukee and the Drexel Fund, while still allowing Terry to support new moms in need as Hospital Outreach Coordinator for Second Stork in Minnesota.

Terry says Susan Mountin, Jour ’71, Grad ’94, of Campus Ministry had the most impact on her while at Marquette. Susan’s third son and Terry and Darren’s first son are a week apart in age. They became friends and 18 years later were freshman roommates at Marquette.