On Friday, January 18, 2019, it was a very special day for us at GMC. Our first African American graduate from the Corps of Cadets, Al Jackson, returned to GMC to speak at our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Ceremony!
When Al started his journey at Georgia Military College in 1965, he wasn’t welcomed. He was discouraged for coming to GMC, and he’ll tell you, he doesn’t have many fond memories from his time as a Cadet here. But in the last few years, Al and I have gotten to know each other and I know that the challenges he faced during his time at GMC are experiences that need to be shared.
Most of our current students can’t imagine a world that was segregated, but sadly it wasn’t that long ago. It was important for Al to share his stories about his time here at GMC, to show our students that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed America for the better, and because of his efforts, people like Al Jackson had the courage to persevere as the first African American Cadet at Georgia Military College.
We are so grateful to Al for coming back to GMC to share his story. On Friday, some of his old high school classmates and close family and friends surprised him at our Martin Luther King Jr. Ceremony, and before he even took the stage – just as I was introducing him – he got a standing ovation.
Al Jackson is a special man and he is part of GMC’s history, and for that, we are so grateful. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!