Statement from Jackson Foundation President Doug Jackson

The Jackson Foundation is thrilled to announce the fulfillment of one of the founding goals of our organization. Our organization has agreed to bestow the Renaissance Center to Freed-Hardeman University for the creation of a complete, four-year university program in Dickson, the first time in our city’s history.

This is a landmark event for the Dickson community. The opportunities that will flow out of this partnership are almost beyond counting. We’re not only creating a new path to a college education for the people of Dickson County, but we’re also bringing in new jobs, new investment, and new residents. This gift to Freed-Hardeman University will be a cornerstone on which our city can build for decades.

The Jackson Foundation created the Renaissance Center in 1999 as part of our mission to inspire excitement about education among both youth and adults. We are confident in Freed-Hardeman to carry on the proud tradition of the Renaissance Center and continue expanding its reach for decades to come. At the same time, the Jackson Foundation will continue to be an active part of the Renaissance Center and the Middle Tennessee community. We will never stop striving to expand access to educational opportunities for the people we serve.

As the Renaissance Center changes hands and Freed-Hardeman establishes the first complete university program in Dickson’s history, it’s important to note that this is a completely private partnership between two nonprofit organizations. No taxpayers’ money, tax breaks or tax incentives are involved. The citizens of Dickson are going to enjoy all the economic and educational benefits of a private, four-year university housed at the Renaissance Center, at no expense to the government or the public.

The first Freed-Hardeman students are expected to arrive in time for the fall semester of 2014, and the Jackson Foundation will be thrilled to welcome them to our hometown. I’m sure they will fall in love with our community, just as my father did when he first moved here to join his brothers to establish a practice in family medicine, and just as I have loved Dickson all of my life.