People of Georgian: Philanthropist says family treated college as ‘part of the family’
September 18, 2020

What’s your story?

The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Jane Brown Jackson

My mother was a school teacher shortly after the war ended, so education was very important to her.

My father didn’t do postsecondary, so education became very important to him. While he only had a Georgian honorary degree, he probably took enough courses he should have had several degrees.

With both parents being interested in education, I got the same feeling that it was important.

There are so many different types of education. University isn’t the be-all and end-all for everyone. The courses that Georgian offers really give students a postsecondary education that’s hands on.

Georgian just seemed to be part of the family that dad was involved with when the college first started in 1967.

My mother took one of the first business courses in speed reading back when it was in the Wellington Street Plaza, and even before I was in high school, I took different summer courses there in art.

Getting an education and donating to Georgian was important to our family, but winning this year’s Community Partner Award was a surprise.

I’ve just done what felt right to do, and I certainly never did it expecting an award. Giving isn’t about the size of the money, it’s just helping others.

My mother was very big on not waiting until after you’re gone to help. If there’s a need, you help right then.

I was brought up to understand that you can’t expect other people to support you if you’re not willing to support them. What’s a little bit of money to some people is a lot of money to somebody else. Paying it forward has always been important in my family and in my life.

Six people stand in a row next to each other and smile at the camera.

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Person pulls a cloth off a plaque while two others watch.
A group of people smile at the camera and give a thumbs up.

‘You do the best you can with what you’ve got’

Everybody’s got their challenges.

Six years ago, due to complications in surgery, I ended up having a tracheostomy.

I’ve learned that living life with whatever’s thrown at you is my passion. I’ve been trying to educate others that you don’t hide because you’ve got some kind of disability or a complication in your life. You do the best you can with what you’ve got.

I’ve lived a blessed life, and it’s always good to give back.

Jane Brown Jackson, Georgian alumna, philanthropist, and longtime friend of Georgian.

She won the Community Partner Award at Georgian’s 2020 Board of Governor’s Awards of Distinction.

In 2016, Jane made a $100,000 donation toward the Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre – the first contribution to the project.

Her father, Arch Brown, was instrumental in the college’s inception and served in various capacities as the college grew. Over the years, the Brown family invested more than $2 million in support of Georgian’s strategic priorities.