Linda Jackson ’82 and Jon Stryker ’82 have challenged all young alumni to make a gift on DOGL 2014. If you′re a recent graduate, any Kalamazoo College Fund gift you make on DOGL will be matched dollar-for-dollar—up to $10,000 by the DOGL sponsors.
Linda Jackson ′82 was born in Detroit and later raised in Westland. In 1978, she proudly became the first person in her family to attend college. She chose K because of the availability of professors, study abroad, the internship opportunities, and the Senior Individualized Project. Linda took advantage of many opportunities at K, including study abroad in Aux-en-Provence, France. Due to her interest in politics, she also interned in Florida with the West Palm Beach County Commissioners and conducted her SIP research in Washington, D.C., analyzing the relationship between journalists and various governmental bodies.
After graduation, Linda returned to Washington, D.C., ultimately graduating from Catholic University School of Law. While there, she met and married her husband, Cherif Sedky. Her life changed dramatically after law school. While Linda was working at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, they had their first child, Sarah. Later, Cherif was offered an opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia. They spent the next seven-and-a-half years in the seaport of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during which time their second child, Adam Nicholas (“Nick”), was born.
Due to the nature of the society in Saudia Arabia, Linda could not practice law, so she became an elementary school teacher. She taught at the British International School and was also on their Board of Govenors. The aftermath of 9/11 made living in Jeddah uneasy, so Linda and the children relocated to London, England, while Cherif continued to work in Jeddah. Meanwhile, she began teaching at an international school in London.
Linda returned to Michigan with her entire family in 2006. She decided to retire and volunteer her time at nonprofit organizations. She used her teaching skills to teach adults to read and her love of art and teaching to become a docent at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Over a year ago, Cherif came out of retirement, and the family relocated to New York City. Nick attends the Professional Children’s School in New York and Sarah is at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, where she studies engineering. Linda’s current volunteer work includes co-tutoring a class of pre-GED adults in reading. She also enjoys learning Italian and spending time with family.
K gave Linda the education she needed to switch careers multiple times and to help others improve their lives through education. She believes strongly in education, and that we can all play a role in strengthening it. Because gifts from donors helped make Linda’s K experience possible, she notes it is the least she can do to keep educational experiences at K alive for a new generation.
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Jon Stryker ′82 is president and founder of the Arcus Foundation, which is a private grant-making institution dedicated to the idea that people can live in harmony with one another and the natural world. Most recently, the Foundation provided a grant to endow the work of the College′s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (ACSJL). An architect by training, Jon′s philanthropy has helped strengthen many of K′s distinctive programs. His vision and generosity are behind the newest addition to campus, the building that will house the ACSJL. Jon serves as a member of the College′s Board of Trustees and is Honorary Co-Chair of The Campaign for Kalamazoo College.
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