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Donors’ money provides for prominent fountain at JSU

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JSU trustees

A section of the meeting room where JSU trustees assembled in Fort Payne earlier this week is shown. Left to right are trustees Rusty Fuller, Gale Saxon Main, Randy Owen, Don Killingsworth, Randall Jones and Clarence Daugette III. 

FORT PAYNE The primary administration building on the Jacksonville State University campus soon will have a fountain, thanks to a donation from a graduate’s estate.

At the university’s board of trustees meeting Monday and Tuesday at Canyon Center, officials announced funds from the estate of James and Miriam Haywood would be used for the project in front of Angle Hall (formerly Bibb Graves Hall).

According to JSU Director of Public Relations Buffy Lockette, this will be the campus’ first-ever water feature.  

“Mr. and Mrs. Haywood were alumni of JSU and retirees of JSU — very involved on campus,” Lockette said. “They left money to the university in their will that they wanted to be used for something like this.”

Lockette said the university often sees donations such as these, which are often called “planned gifts.” She said the amount was an “estate gift”and an actual figure was not disclosed.

“The Haywoods were loyal supporters of JSU who wanted to leave a legacy on campus in addition to all their contributions as alumni and retirees,” university President Don Killingsworth said. "We are thankful for their generosity and proud to honor their memory with this new campus showpiece.” 

JSU board chairman Randall Jones said the fountain was being funded entirely from the donation of Mr. and Mrs. Haywood.

“The entire front going into the hall is being redone right now by donations,” Jones said. “No tuition, no public money for that. A lot of exciting things going on over there.” 

Also on the announcement agenda, trustee Clarence William Daugette III made a donation to JSU in memory of six fallen Vietnam soldiers and his father, who was a decorated war veteran. 

“The Jacksonville State University Board of Trustees passed a resolution on Oct. 19 honoring the six fallen soldiers who were students or graduates of the university,” according to the university press release. 

In honor of these men, the university voted to rename six office spaces in Rowe Hall — the ROTC building — for the six soldiers, and an office suite in honor of Daugette’s father, Col. Clarence William Daugette Jr.

“We appreciate Mr. Daugette, and the Daugette family, for recognizing these American heroes that lost their lives during the Vietnam war,” Killingsworth said. “We’re truly proud of their service, and hopefully their families will be able to take some solace that their legacy will live on forever.”

These soldiers being memorialized are Lt. Charles William Davis, Lt. Grady E. McBride III, Capt. Donald Franklin McMillan, Capt. Jerry Wayne McNabb, Capt. Richard Charles Miller, and Capt. Edward Davis Pierce.

“It has been 50 years since the Vietnam War, which affected all of our lives,”

Daugette said in a press release from the university. “This was something that was very close to my heart, and I am proud we are able to honor the sacrifices of these soldiers who gave their lives for their country.”

Another announcement was that the mainstream news publication U.S. News & World Report has ranked JSU among the top 38 public schools in the South, along with several other recognitions of note.

Killingsworth said at Tuesday’s meeting he was excited to announce the new numbers showing JSU ranked as a “top performer on social mobility.”

Killingsworth said social mobility measures the percentage of economically disadvantaged students who were able to overcome those disadvantages and receive higher education. 

“That, I’m probably more proud of,” Killingsworth said. “We’re changing lives one person at a time.”

The excitement over the rankings continued upward with their nursing program ranking among the top 10 percent. 

“We are truly proud of the institution and the recognition this brings to our state,” Killingsworth said. “A lot of good things going on, especially with our nursing program. We always knew it was a great program. Now, to be recognized by U.S. World Report as top 10 percent across the nation for nursing programs, we’re truly proud.”