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Message on Lizbeth A.S. Jackson

Provost Michael R. Halleran sent the following message to the campus community March 2, 2018 - Ed.

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share the news that Lizbeth A.S. Jackson, Associate Dean for Administration at the Law School, passed away on February 27. 

Born in Manhattan, Kansas, she received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts from Kansas State University. She received her Education Specialist Degree and completed all the course work for the Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the College of William & Mary while working here full-time.

Dean Jackson joined the W&M administration in 1989 as the part-time Legal Skills Program Assistant, moving to the area as a military spouse to husband, Carl. She soon added the position of Registrar to her duties, and then added Assistant Dean for Admission to her Registrar responsibilities. In 2000, she was promoted to Associate Dean for Administration, overseeing student services, facilities, and human resources for the Law School. She continued her Registrar duties until 2015. She was the recipient of The John Marshall Award for “outstanding service to the Law School,” and “fidelity to those qualities of character, leadership and selfless service which distinguished the life of John Marshall” in 1997. In 2011, the Law School Faculty passed a resolution recognizing her more than twenty years of service, her primary responsibility for millions of dollars of facility construction and redesign, her service as principal human resources officer for the entire Law School, and her service to thousands of law students, handling “their cares and concerns with the ultimate discretion, conscientiousness, and compassion.” The faculty noted in their resolution their thanks to Liz Jackson, “a woman of many skills and talents, for her twenty-plus years of service; her attention to detail; her ability to see forward to the Law School’s future needs; her patience and persistence in getting things done; and her equanimity in often being the first to hear complaints and the last to hear praise.”

Dean Jackson’s litany of duties at the Law School were regularly noted by business consultants and accrediting agencies to be more than one person should handle, yet through her tireless efforts she succeeded at always making time for students, staff, faculty, and colleagues from her countless roles in university service. She was planning to retire this summer to spend more time with her family.

When not serving William & Mary, she served Williamsburg Presbyterian Church in numerous leadership and committee roles, and was also a Charter member and Past-President of Virginia Chapter BJ of P.E.O. International, an organization that celebrates and supports the advancement of women through education. Among her other P.E.O. activities, Liz was instrumental in helping numerous female law students obtain low interest P.E.O. Education Loans over the years. Liz was recently selected to serve as State Secretary of P.E.O., and would have been in line to ultimately serve as Virginia’s P.E.O. President. When not working or engaged in philanthropy, she enjoyed traveling, CrossFit, and being outdoors and at the beach.

As one alum wrote upon hearing news of her passing, Liz was the “strongest of champions of W&M Law, and was the staunchest advocate of students, faculty, and friends always . . . especially when they needed her most.”

She was the devoted wife of Carl Jackson for 37 years. She was the cherished daughter of her mother, Zoe Slinkman, who has shared Liz and Carl’s homes and lives over the last twenty-five years. Liz leaves behind three sisters, brothers-in-law, and numerous nieces, nephews, and heartbroken friends. In addition to the more than 600 law students she worried about and cared for at any given time, she and Carl have two Golden Retrievers, Laurel and Hardy, who brought them daily joy. In addition to family and friends, Liz loved life, her church and her country. 

A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, 215 Richmond Road, Williamsburg.  A reception celebrating her life will immediately follow in the fellowship hall at the church. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations to honor Liz’s life may be made to Hospice or the Salvation Army.