Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga|CF-7099-cropped

February 27, 2023

Donor Stories: Joe and Ingrid Jackson

Sending a child to college is a moment of great celebration, for any family; one that sparks phone calls, handshakes, hugs.

And often, a parent’s quiet sigh, as they think about finances and funding. So imagine fundraising to pay for college, year after year. Then, imagine doing it for someone who is not your own child.

This is exactly what Joe and Ingrid Jackson do. And they do it to honor their son, Joe Jackson II.

Joey was a graduate of Baylor School and the University of Alabama, a remarkable mix of deep thinker, sportsman, and friend. He was a hard worker — holding summer jobs with the City from his youth. He was also an avid reader and good student who liked to stay up late talking about ideas, rather than blindly accepting other people’s opinions.

When he passed away at the age of 25, his parents were devastated. But rather than just look backward, they created a legacy scholarship in their son’s honor, to give other students the opportunities Joe Jr. had.

For the Jacksons, college is a place where the ideas that can be investigated are nearly limitless, and so are the places that a great education can take students.

At a lunch celebrating this year’s scholarship winners, the student’s faces were excited, full of boundless hope and curiosity. Ready to stay up late debating ideas, to work hard and find their own way. Each, in their own way, honoring Joey by following in his footsteps.

“This year, the fund paid out more than $10,000 in scholarships,” said Jackson. “Our goal is to grow and endow the fund, so we can give out a minimum $20,000 annually, and do it for a long time.”