I met Jermaine Jackson in the Student Media Center at Ole Miss.
My memories of my three years at The Daily Mississippian and the SMC are fuzzy these days, and that’s not because it’s been seven years since I graduated. It’s because those were three incredibly busy years, juggling full-time SMC work with a full-time class schedule.
I can remember the big stories, the laughter, the meltdowns, but most of the day-to-day stuff is just a blur.
But one thing I know for sure is who those busy days and nights were spent with, who I saw and worked beside day in and day out. Plenty of students came and went, but one constant was Jermaine Jackson.
He was always there. Always. I never had to wonder where he was or if he’d get the job done, because he was there before I got there, and the job was done before anyone even thought to assign it or ask about it. News would break, stories could fall apart, whatever – Jermaine was there, and he could probably make you laugh even if things were falling apart.
He was a friendly face in the newsroom every day and a reliable, responsible reporter who went above and beyond.
A newsroom is a stressful work environment, so the SMC wasn’t always the easiest place to be. He’d quickly let you know if he wasn’t happy about something, but he never let anything stop him from working.
I loved my time at the SMC and treasure those days for a number of reasons, mostly because it was there that I met so many friends who became family. Jermaine was an irreplaceable part of that. We’re spread all over the world now, but we’re still family. I’m heartbroken that we’re now missing one of those essential pieces. I hope we all make him proud as we carry on through life with the lessons we learned there.
Rest in peace, Jermaine.