Date of death: 5/16/2008
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1961
Robert D. Jackson, 73. He was born Sept. 9, 1934, in Lafayette, Ind., to Homer and Lesta.Mr. Jackson was born and raised in Indiana. He attended prep school at Saint Meinrad Minor Seminary, St. Meinrad, IN. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served for three years — first in an artillery unit, and later as a military intelligence specialist in Washington, D.C. Following his discharge from the service, he attended The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where he received a bachelor’s degree in speech and drama.During the 1961-62 school year, he taught English and speech at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, MD. In that same year he was awarded a fellowship by the Theatre Department of Tufts University in Medford, MA, where he participated in an interdisciplinary program in theater and humanities. He received his master’s from Tufts in the fall of 1963.He was employed as an instructor of speech and drama at Thomas More College in Covington, KY, where he remained for the next six years. During that time he taught a variety of speech, English and theater courses. Throughout the six years, he served as acting chair for the theater program, which was in the English Department. He directed and designed plays. He developed the theater curriculum from a single course into a program that provided a major in drama. He was promoted to assistant professor. He oversaw the design and execution of a theater when a new campus was constructed. In the year that he left the college, his drama program was given departmental status.In 1969, Mr. Jackson was awarded a fellowship, as an actor, in the Hilberry Repertory Company of Wayne State University, Detroit. He remained in the theater company for three years, during which time he acted in numerous plays, taught acting and speech, and completed his course work for the Ph.D. He also had become interested in film production. He selected a cross-disciplinary topic for his dissertation, Romeo and Juliet on Film, in order to become more conversant with film theory and practice. He completed his dissertation and was awarded the Ph.D. in 1978.In the meantime, he had gone to work in the film industry in Detroit. Between 1972 and 1984, he worked for several communications firms in various capacities: film editor, multi-media producer, and film and video producer and director. In 1978 he was promoted to operations manager for one of those companies, the Sandy Corporation, with responsibility for supervising other producers on projects involving millions of dollars annually.Since 1984, he has been an independent producer and director, supervising film and video projects with budgets ranging from $20,000 to $750,000. During the same period, he also taught filmmaking, wrote several industrial programs and commercials, one documentary film, and two screenplays.He is survived by his wife, Mila, whom he married Aug. 19, 1969, in Hamilton, Ohio; children, Faith Frederick, Eva (Don) Squires, Angela, Celeste, Paul (Teri) and Stephen (Krista); grandchildren, Dawn, Jeremy, David and Scott Squires, Blythe (Brian) Strongman, and Amanda, Andrew, Julia, Danielle and Jacob Jackson; and six great-grandchildren.Memorial donations may be addressed to The Capuchins, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207; or Community Caring Scholarship.