Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.),

Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.), a decorated Marine, is currently the director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) as well as a member of CSUSM’s Foundation Board of Directors. After honorably serving his country for over 36 years in the Marine Corps, he is a voice of support for veterans and active duty military personnel in the CSU and at Cal State San Marcos.

Major General Jackson attended San José State University in the late 1960s on an athletic scholarship, played three varsity seasons and became the captain of the football team in 1970. He received his B.A. and M.A. in history in 1971 and 1973, respectively.

After graduation he spent a few years in the private sector.  However, he elected to join the Marine Corps in May of 1975 to fulfill a lifelong vision of service.  In his long career in the Marine Corps, Jackson served at the Marine Corps Force Central Command for both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and at the newly created Africa Command. His last military assignment was as commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West, running seven bases and supervising tens of thousands of troops and civilians. He retired from the Marine Corps in January 2012. But just as he began to enjoy retirement with his wife, Susan, whom he met while attending San José State, he was tapped by Governor Brown to oversee California State Parks, restore integrity and public trust in the Department, and manage its 280 units and over 2,500 employees across the state. 

General Jackson says that his military background gave him a depth of life experience and leadership opportunities he wouldn’t otherwise have.  He believes in “service before self,” and is passionate about opening up opportunities for the newer generations.  Now in his role on the CSUSM Foundation Board, he hopes to inspire others to support military-affiliated students who add richness and diversity to the University’s student body.

“When vets come out of the military, they need our monetary and our moral support because one day they will be the ones in leadership positions—they will be the ones standing in our place,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here today without the support of scholarship donors who believed in me back when I was attending college. Because of those donors who supported me, I am the embodiment of the American Dream. This is my opportunity to give back, and I believe that we all have an obligation and an important role in helping the next generation’s dreams come to fruition.”

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Join Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.) in Supporting Our Veteran Students

The Major General Anthony L. Jackson Veterans History Scholarship was established to support CSUSM veteran students interested in history. If you would like to contribute to this scholarship or learn more about other opportunities in giving support to military-affiliated students, contact University Advancement at 760-750-4400.