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25 April 2008
Alabama State Legislature Presents
Joint Resolution to JSU
Marking 125th Anniversary

Jacksonville State University President Bill Meehan received a congratulatory joint resolution from the Alabama State Legislature on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, recognizing JSU for reaching the 125th milestone anniversary.  JSU Board of Trustees and administrative officers were also present for this memorable event.  The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Lea Fite, D-Jacksonville, and Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston. Senator Marsh attributed JSU and Meehan's leadership as being great assets to the eastern region of the state.

The resolution, in its entirety is printed below.

Rep(s). By Representatives Fite, Galliher, Lindsey, Ford, Hurst, Oden, Wood, Page, Laird and Boyd


ENROLLED, House Joint Resolution, Commending Jacksonville State University on the Observance of its 125th Anniversary.

WHEREAS, we are greatly pleased and proud to recognize the 125th Anniversary of Jacksonville State University (JSU) which was officially observed on February 22, 2008; and

WHEREAS, forming the educational heart of northeast Alabama in the City of Jacksonville, JSU occupies 59 buildings on 459 acres of land with additional locations; it serves a diverse student population in both undergraduate and graduate studies and sparks intellectual, cultural, and social interest and inquiry throughout the region; and

WHEREAS, created as a state normal school by Governor Edward O'Neal and the Alabama Legislature on February 22, 1883, the school inhabited 12 acres with a two-story building that previously had served Calhoun College; under the leadership of the first president, James G. Ryals, Jr., 25 students had enrolled in the Normal School and 222 in the preparatory school at the end of the first year; and

WHEREAS, increasing the strength of its focus on higher education, Jacksonville Normal School became Jacksonville State Teachers College in 1930 and earned regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1935; with the introduction of a graduate program in elementary education in 1957, the name was further changed to Jacksonville State College; and

WHEREAS, achieving a prestigious university status in 1966, an independent University Board of Trustees was established the following year, removing the school from the oversight of the State Board of Education; and

WHEREAS, with the excellent direction of 11 presidents and the fiscal guardianship of the boards of trustees, JSU has remained affordable and has become increasingly more comprehensive, meeting the needs of a diverse population of students, faculty, and local residents, and offering opportunities of a global nature for scholarly, experimental, and career learning; and

WHEREAS, the JSU Family, including faculty, students, alumni, and friends, will proudly celebrate the University's 125th Anniversary throughout the year, focusing on the vision and courage of the early founders, James G. Ryals, Jr., president; W. J. Borden, mathematics instructor; Eliza A. Bowen, English instructor; and Ida J. Woodward, primary department; what began as little more than an idea is now a prominent university boasting many accomplished graduates and a growing reputation on the national level; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That we proudly congratulate Jacksonville State University on the celebration of its 125th Anniversary, and we offer this resolution for appropriate display in anticipation of its rewarding future.


JSU President, Trustees, and administrative officers are pictured here along with state legislators displaying the joint resolution commemorating the University's 125th anniversary. Shown here, from left to right, are Don Killingsworth, Director, Government Relations; State Rep. Richard Lindsey; Jamie "Red" Etheredge, JSU Trustee; Rep. Seth Hammett, Alabama Speaker of the House; Jim Coxwell, JSU Trustee; State Rep. Lea Fite; Dr. Bill Meehan, JSU President; State Rep. Randy Wood; Jim Bennett, Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Mack Roberts, JSU Trustee; State Rep. Tommy Sherer; and Ralph Burke, Director, JSU-Gadsden.

President Meehan steps up to the podium with State Rep. Lea Fite, Trustees Mack Roberts and Jim Coxwell, and JSU's Vice President for Administrative and University Business Affairs Clint Carlson in the background.

President Meehan addresses the legislature as one of the primary sponsors of the resolution, Lea Fite, stands alongside.

Applause for the efforts of the primary sponsor of this resolution, Rep. Lea Fite (shown standing at the podium), is evidenced here.

Dr. Meehan, center, with Board Chairman Jim Bennett to his right, is shown here shaking the hand of Sen. Del Marsh, another primary sponsor of this joint resolution.

President Meehan, during this time of recognition by the legislators of the University's accomplishments, used the occasion to address serious concerns about the state's budgetary plans for higher education.

Commemorating JSU's milestone 125th anniversary marked by the presentation of a joint resolution presented by the Alabama State Legislature are Don Killingsworth, Director, Government Relations; Joe Serviss, Vice President for Institutional Advancement; Clint Carlson, Vice President for Administrative and University Business Affairs; Mack Roberts, JSU Trustee; Lt. Gov. and President of the Senate, Trustee Jim Folsom; Jim Coxwell, JSU Trustee; Jamie "Red" Etheredge, JSU Trustee; Jim Bennett, Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Dr. Bill Meehan, JSU President, Sen. Larry Means, Sen. Del Marsh, and Ralph Burke, Director, JSU-Gadsden.

Photos by Steve Latham

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