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IN MEMORIAM: Helen Jackson, supporter of the Jackson School

March 2, 2018

University of Washington Suzzallo Library Interior
University of Washington Suzzallo Library Interior. Photo credit: Dennis Wise.

Helen Hardin Jackson, longtime supporter of the Jackson School and wife of the late Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, passed away on February 24, 2018. She was 84 years old.


Helen Jackson

“One of the pleasures of leading the Jackson School has been to witness and benefit from the tremendous dedication of the Jackson family, and in particular Helen Jackson, to public service and education in international affairs,” said Reşat Kasaba, Director of the Jackson School and the Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies, in reflecting on the death of Ms. Jackson.

“Thanks to their generosity, our students are among the best prepared to tackle the challenges of our complex world and our faculty and staff are amply supported as they explore new and innovative ways of teaching and research. Helen Jackson’s memory will remain forever as a source of inspiration for all of us.”

Senator Jackson died in September 1983. That same month, the UW Board of Regents approved a name change from what was then called the Institute for Comparative and Area Studies to the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, in commemoration of Senator Jackson’s distinguished career in foreign affairs, commitment to international education, and unflagging support for the School.

In 2008, Helen Jackson, who continued to engage with the Jackson School after Senator Jackson’s death, made a transformational gift to UW’s Center for Human Rights, which is housed in the Jackson School:

“Since 2008 it’s been my great honor to hold an endowed chair created in the name of Helen Jackson by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation,” said Director of the UW Center for Human Rights Angelina Godoy. “Through this experience I’ve had the opportunity to learn about her Helen’s life and legacy. By all accounts she was a talented, generous woman, deeply committed to public service and the common good. The creation of the chair in her name catalyzed the broader effort to establish a UW Center for Human Rights. We are honored to be the custodians of this part of Ms. Jackson’s legacy, and committed to upholding the values she held dear among future generations at the University of Washington.”

Read more about the Helen H. Jackson Chair in Human Rights.

Peter Jackson, independent writer and the son of the late Senator Jackson and Mrs. Helen Jackson, was a leading force behind the formation of the UW Center for Human Rights in 2009. Known as a conservation advocate and community voice throughout the Pacific Northwest, he was the first President of the Center’s Advisory Board.


Read more about Helen Jackson