Center for International Education
Fall 2009

Philanthrophy

Bill and Martha Jackson: Personal experiences sparked idea for study abroad scholarship endowment

In 2004, UNH alumni Martha and Bill Jackson established the Martha L. Foley ’76 ’96G and William S. Jackson ’75 Fund for International Studies. At CIE’s gathering for Boston area international affairs alumni in May, the Jacksons spoke about their UNH experiences and their decision to create a scholarship that would make a difference for some deserving UNH students.

Bill and Martha Jackson at IA alumni gathering in Boston
Bill and Martha Jackson at IA alumni gathering in Boston

Five years ago Bill and Martha (Foley) Jackson established an endowed scholarship designed to enable UNH students from New Hampshire with significant financial need to study abroad.

Martha, originally from Plymouth, NH, and a 1976 UNH graduate with a degree in French, remembers her own UNH junior year abroad in Dijon, France. "In those days, most everyone who studied abroad was a language major. I think it’s great that now so many students study abroad irrespective of their majors. My year in France was one of the best experiences of my life." Martha remembers a fellow French major from her class who was unable to go to Dijon simply because she didn’t have enough money. That memory stuck with her and was one of the major reasons why she and Bill established this scholarship.

Bill, a 1975 UNH Whittemore School graduate from Franklin, MA, attended UNH on a full financial scholarship. He served as a resident assistant in Williamson Hall. Bill didn’t study abroad due to financial shortcomings. However, during his 26-year career with Tyco International, Ltd., he traveled abroad extensively. Bill comments on the value of an international experience in this global world, "I think all young American adults should try to spend a semester, or, better yet, an academic year abroad. Immersion into the culture of a foreign nation will lead to at least two ends: an appreciation of where you came from, and, an appreciation of how your homeland is viewed from the perspective of your host country -- very important these days!"