Ray Earl-Jackson

Ray Earl-Jackson

When did you start at NIU?
2017

Where is your hometown, and where do you reside now?
University Park, IL; Aurora, IL

What department do you work in?
Gift Planning, within the Division of Advancement

What is your job title?
Senior Director of Advancement, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Describe your typical workday?
I manage an awesome team that connects the passions and interests of alumni and donors to the NIU mission. We help these donors accomplish their philanthropic goals, and as a result, secure funding that impacts NIU students.

What advice would you give students?
Be a sponge. Soak in your experiences, and most importantly, reflect on them. College is a time to discover yourself—and the world around you.

What is your favorite campus event?
Move-in Day. I get excited for the start of every academic year and like to volunteer to help students move in. It’s an exciting time for them. I feed off their energy and imagine the great things they will accomplish.

What is your favorite NIU memory?
I coordinated a luncheon where I introduced one of our very generous donors to her scholarship recipient. The two were seemingly from very different backgrounds, but they immediately hit it off. Their nearly two-hour conversation was filled with things they had in common, including being proud Huskies. Those moments, when I can help a donor accomplish a philanthropic goal and impact a student, motivate me to work hard.

What’s the most important thing you could tell a prospective NIU student?
Prepare for the future—but don’t forget to enjoy the present. You have an amazing journey ahead, and we want to help you get the most out of it. Take every opportunity to learn something new, meet someone new and do something new.

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