Staff Profile

Sam Jackson

Sam Jackson

Assistant Director of the Center for Student Alumni Programs, UT Knoxville

My position includes

educating students about the impact of our amazing donors and alumni, coordinating the annual Senior Impact campaign and Senior Impact Council, and providing senior-specific programming to engage graduating seniors and prepare them for their lifetime journey as an alumnus of UT.

To understand what I do, you must understand

our next generation of alumni are already on campus and with us for a short time. Engaging our “alumni-in-residence” (a.k.a. students) through innovative social and educational programs, networking, and philanthropy will help them understand what it means to become an alumnus of UT before they cross the stage at graduation.

My favorite part of my job is

helping our students understand the importance of philanthropy and staying engaged with our beloved university. I also enjoying helping students discern what areas of campus mean the most to them through Senior Impact.

As a kid I wanted to be

a secret service agent.

If I was gifted with a secret power, it would be

to help everyone look at and care for their fellow man as a neighbor… I’m a huge Mister Rogers fan.

My bucket list includes

traveling as much as possible with my beautiful wife, Hayley. We hope to hit all 50 states (we’ve been to 32 so far) and see more of Europe in the coming years. We also hope to take a cross country Amtrak trip in the future.

My personal motto is

“It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have.” –Fred Rogers

My theme song is

“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John – always a favorite but took on a different meaning after beating cancer in 2019.

Few know that I

was elected to my hometown (Greenback, TN) city council at 18 and served as vice mayor/alderman for four years. My wife and I are beekeepers in our spare time and currently have four hives of honeybees.

The best piece of advice I ever received was

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

I start each morning with

packing lunch for my wife, Hayley (fourth grade teacher), getting in some cardio, and jotting down three things I’m grateful for.