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Dr. Marcus Thompson named Jackson State...

Dr. Marcus Thompson named Jackson State University President

By: Jeremy Pittari - November 16, 2023

IHL made the appointment to JSU on Thursday. Thompson has decades of education experience and is an alum of JSU.

A new president was named for Jackson State University. That announcement came on Thursday afternoon by the Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning Board of Trustees. 

According to a release issued by the IHL, Dr. Marcus Thompson was named as the new president of the university and will assume those responsibilities after Thanksgiving. 

Thompson currently serves as the IHL’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer. During the past decade in that role he oversaw staff at IHL as well as all aspects of the day-to-day functions. 

“The Board selected a leader who knows the unique historic importance of the university who will articulate a bold vision for the future and will be indefatigable in the pursuit of excellence for Jackson State University,” said IHL Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham, chair of the Board Search Committee. 

A search for a new president of JSU has been under way for some time. Back in March, former president Thomas K. Hudson resigned, leading to Elayne Hayes-Anthony being named interim president the following month. Since that time, the IHL Board has been interviewing candidates but had not come to a decision until Thursday.

When he steps into the office, Thompson will be the university’s eighth president since 2000. In the history of the university, there have been 13 presidents.

Thompson has 20 years of experience in educational leadership, including early childhood, K-12 and also higher education. 

“I’m very honored to be named President of Jackson State University because I believe in its mission, purpose and most of all, the outstanding faculty, staff, alumni and students who embody our school’s motto of challenging minds, changing lives,” said Dr. Thompson in the release. “I look forward to working closely with all of them to develop a consensus about strategic goals and objectives we can achieve by working together.”

Thompson is a former educator and administrator for private and public schools within the Jackson Public School District and Copiah County School District. As an educator he taught English, history, math and also Spanish.

Thompson holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and Spanish and a Master’s in education from Mississippi College, along with a Doctor of Philosophy from JSU in urban higher education. Thompson and his wife, LaToya Redd Thompson, who is a practicing attorney, have three children, Kaelyn, Jessica and Marcus Jr.

His first day as JSU’s president will be November 27, 2023. 

About the Author(s)
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Jeremy Pittari

Jeremy Pittari is a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast. Born and raised in Slidell, La., he moved to South Mississippi in the early 90s. Jeremy earned an associate in arts from Pearl River Community College and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor's of arts in journalism. A week after Hurricane Katrina, he started an internship as a reporter with the community newspaper in Pearl River County. After graduation, he accepted a full-time position at that news outlet where he covered the recovery process post Katrina in Pearl River and Hancock Counties. For nearly 17 years he wrote about local government, education, law enforcement, crime, business and a variety of other topics. Email Jeremy: