Gloria Jackson, secretary/treasurer and owner of CableAmerica Corp. in Mesa, Ariz., will be the keynote speaker at Northern Michigan University’s Dec. 13 commencement ceremony. The Marquette native and NMU alumna will receive an honorary doctor of business degree.

Jackson graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration from NMU in 1968. She has maintained strong ties to her alma mater, hosting many alumni gatherings at her Arizona home and serving as an NMU Foundation trustee for 19 years.

Her passion for higher education has inspired her support of students throughout the Upper Peninsula. She has established endowed scholarships at NMU, Michigan Technological University and Finlandia University. She also has served as chair, secretary and member of the Finlandia Board of Trustees.

Pride in her Finnish heritage has kept Jackson active in the American-Finnish community and has led her to travel overseas frequently. She has been a delegate to the Parliament of Expatriates in Helsinki, Finland, a former chair of the Finnish Council in America and a member of the Suomi Seura (Finland Society). She is the honorary consul of Finland for the State of Arizona and chair of the Consular Corps of America.

Jackson also is a generous patron of the arts and has helped to build bridges between the arts communities of the Americas and Finland by sponsoring the 2000-03 North American tour of F2F:  New Media Art from Finland, an international touring exhibition showcasing works by contemporary media artists.

She is a past recipient of the Alumni Service Award from NMU, the Silver Award of Merit for promoting Finnish culture from Suomi Seura, the Lion Award from the former Suomi College (now Finlandia University) and an honorary doctor of humane letters from Finlandia University.

The family-owned CableAmerica Corp. has been developing and operating cable TV systems since 1971. The company employs more than 200 and operates or has operated in 17 states, including Michigan.

Northern’s commencement begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Superior Dome. It will be broadcast throughout the Upper Peninsula on WNMU-TV (Public TV 13).

Prepared By
News Director
December 9, 2008