Be approachable and accessible, share your passion for teaching and learning, and enjoy the opportunity to give back. These are the lessons that Craig Jackson learned from the mentors throughout his life and the blueprint that he follows in his interactions with the young medical students that he now teaches and mentors.

Leonard B. Kirschner (L) and Craig Jackson (R) have remained friends since Jackson was a student at WSU in the 1960s.
Leonard B. Kirschner (L) and Craig Jackson (R) have remained friends since Jackson was a student at WSU in the 1960s.

An accomplished scientist, administrator, and most recently a consulting retiree, Craig  (’63 Zool.) is especially grateful to WSU professors who were instrumental in recognizing his abilities and providing valuable advice to help him forge his path in life. Their stimulating and challenging lectures, guidance that helped him succeed in the graduate-level courses he took as an undergraduate, and encouragement which ignited his passion for scientific research by inviting him to work in the laboratory, led Craig to label his days at WSU “among the best of his life”.

“I never would have had those experiences had I not come to WSU. They made my entire life far more fulfilling,” says Craig.

Receiving his bachelor’s degree in zoology at WSU—lacking only a third semester of German for a degree in chemistry as well—Craig went on to earn a doctorate in biochemistry and began his career teaching biological chemistry and doing research into blood coagulation chemistry.

Following his professors’ example of supporting students, Craig has directed annual gifts to WSU for 37 years hoping to encourage those who follow in his footsteps. A President’s Associate since October 2009, his gifts also honor the faculty mentors who helped him succeed at WSU. Among the areas he supports are the Leonard B. Kirschner Endowed Lectureship in the Department of Zoology and the Gardner Stacy Research Endowment Fund in the Department of Chemistry. Craig was a night lab assistant for Kirschner, who made an indelible impression and spurred his enthusiasm and dedication. Setting the foundation for his future, Stacy, his organic chemistry teacher, recommended him for a summer research opportunity that led him to choose biochemistry as his career field.

Most recently, Craig is focusing his support on students who show an interest and curiosity in the sciences or who are exploring a career in science. He created the Leonard B. Kirschner Fund for Excellence in Sciences and as a Legacy Associate of WSU, is directing a gift through his estate to support the endowment. The fund will support scholarships, costs associated with participation at research conferences, and other student activities in support of excellence in research.

With a belief firmly rooted in philanthropy, Craig hopes that he, like his own professors, will enrich the lives of students. After all, he has found one of his favorite quotes to be true—“You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”

To add your support to either of these funds, consider making a secure online gift. To learn how you can create your own endowment and provide perpetual support for WSU, contact the WSU Foundation at 800-448-2978 or by email at