Dr. Lewis A. Jackson
Dr. Lewis Jackson impacted countless people through his passion for aviation, education and entrepreneurship.

The Aviator
Dr. Jackson was captivated by airplanes as a child. By his twenties, he was barnstorming across Indiana and Ohio to earn money for college. In 1939, Jackson earned his commercial license with instructor rating. Within a year he had joined forces with Cornelius Coffey to open Coffey and Jackson Flying School in Chicago. Later that year, Jackson completed advanced aerobatic training and moved to Tuskegee where he received additional aircraft training. Jackson became director of training at the Army Air Force 66th Flight Training Detachment, where, under his guidance, three groups of Tuskegee Airmen ranked first among the 22 schools in the Southeast Army Air Corps Training Command. After the war, Jackson moved to Ohio where he worked as an FAA Flight examiner for 13 years.


Dr. Lewis A. Jackson

The Educator
Dr. Jackson’s first teaching experience was in a one-room, eighth-grade school three years before graduating from IWU with a B.S. in Education in 1939. After his stint in the military from 1940-47, Jackson earned a master¹s degree from Miami (Ohio) University in 1948, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Ohio State University in 1950. During his educational career. Jackson held many positions, including Dean of Students, Graduate Dean, Vice President for Administration, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and President of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

The Entrepreneur
Dr. Jackson's passion for innovation surfaced at 17, when he tried to mount a motorcycle engine on a monoplane. Unfortunately, a windstorm destroyed the invention before he could test fly it. In 1974, Jackson fostered the Business Entrepreneur Program at Sinclair Community College (Sinclair, Ohio). Jackson¹s most creative venture was "An airplane in every garage." From his first test flight in 1956 until his death, he faithfully worked on designing a "roadable" airplane that could be stored at home and towed or driven to the airport. His 16-foot long, collapsible wing design attracted attention from around the world.

Dr. Lewis A. Jackson and Dr. Violet Burden Jackson  Dr. Jackson posing with one of his seven experimental planes.  A distinguished pilot trains his men.   Lewis A. Jackson, Director of Training, Tuskegee Army Primary Flying School  Folding Roadable Plane  Plane driving on the road.  Parked Airplane  Flying for the NAAMCC Newspaper stories

The Library
God has created each person with different talents and interests. For Dr. Lewis A. Jackson, his were a passion for flying and a desire to change the world through his teaching. Even before graduation for IWU in 1939, Dr. Lewis Jackson was teaching in local schools. His love for the classroom would stay with him the rest of his life, and his drive to excel in everything he did would eventually take him to the President’s office at Central State University.

Lewis A. Jackson Library

It was Dr. Jackson’s love for higher education that moved his wife, Dr. Violet Jackson, and their two children, Dr. Robert Jackson and Joyce Dixon, to support IWU’s work in developing world-changing students through a major donation toward the building of this state-of-the-art library.

The $11 million facility includes the latest computer technology. Over 20 miles of cables crisscross through the library’s floors, giving students data throughout the library. For those students with wireless laptop PCs, the building allows them to log on over the airwaves.

This state-of-the-art, 79,000 square foot library’s many features not only provide students with modern conveniences, its unique construction also adds to the beauty of IWU’s growing campus. Features such as its 160-foot glass dome ceiling, and 200-foot x 25-foot arced exterior glass wall have earned the Lewis A. Jackson Library a design achievement award. IWU along with the library’s designer, Design Collaborative, and masonry contractor, Michael Kinder and Sons, were given the award for their efficient and beautiful use of concrete to form the floors, walls and entrances of the library.

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