Chapter History

The Early Years
In the early 1950s, Jackson State University graduates began to migrate to Chicago in large numbers. During that period of time, Dr. John Peoples (president of JSU from 1967 to 1984) migrated to Gary, Indiana after graduating from JSU in 1950. Dr. Peoples and fellow alumnus David Williams of Gary gathered a group of JSU graduates living in Chicago and Gary for a meeting to discuss forming an alumni chapter for both cities. As a result of the planning of the group, Gary, Indiana became the location of the first alumni chapter in the Midwest.

In 1955 for logistical reasons and due to an increase of JSU graduates relocating to Chicago, the Chicago members of the chapter decided to separate from the Gary group and form the Chicago Alumni Chapter. Due to financial difficulties, the Chicago Chapter was dissolved from 1958-1962.

In 1963 several JSU graduates in Chicago began discussing the possibility of reviving the alumni Chapter or establishing a new chapter. With encouragement from the current National Alumni President and professor at JSU, Mr. Lee Williams, the Chicago Chapter was reestablished.

The following JSU graduates played key roles in revitalizing the chapter:

  • Class of 1957 – Burgess Gardner;
  • Class of 1958 – Early Nichols;
  • Class of 1961 – Beverly Gardner, Mildred Gardner, Shirley Collier Greene, Bernice James, Willie Bell Scott, Doris Smith and Herman Smith.
  • Class of 1962 – Charles Causey, Mildred Causey, Mattie Hammond, Sydney Hammond, Henry Johnson, Calvin Scott and Dorothy Thompson;
  • Class of 1963 – Clarice Clayton Johnson.