Jackson College had a huge impact on Tom Fleming’s life. He enrolled at Jackson Junior College immediately after high school, graduating with his Associate of Arts in 1959.
“It was a lot of fun,” Fleming recalls. “After I left Jackson Junior College and went to the University of Michigan. I was very fortunate because not many kids from the east end went on to college. The reason I was well-prepared at the University of Michigan is because of the teachers I had at Jackson Junior College.”
A career in law awaited Fleming. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at University of Michigan, and his Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School. He served as chief assistant prosecuting attorney for Jackson County and special assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan and also had a private law practice. He taught as an adjunct instructor in criminal justice and political science for several years before joining the faculty as professor of criminal justice in October of 1984.
When the College held the Southern Michigan Law Enforcement Training Center, Fleming served as director, running the police academy. He developed a nationally recognized Defensive Driving Program to train police officers from all over the country and police academy cadets, and he negotiated an exclusive agreement with Chrysler Motors for use of their proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan. He served as the College’s representative to the Law School Admissions Council for over 25 years and representative to the Michigan Correctional Officers’ Training Council.
“I tried not to be so much in charge in the classroom as I was in the courtroom,” Fleming said. “In the classroom, I always enjoyed the interchange with my students.”
Jackson College has been a family affair for the Flemings – his wife, brothers, three children, oldest granddaughter graduated and two more grandchildren are currently attending. “You know, it’s a long history from Jackson Junior College, to Jackson College,” he said.