The Wilbur L. Dungy Endowed Chair for the Sciences

Creation of an Endowed Chair


Wilbur L. Dungy

Creation of an endowed chair is a powerful way for supporters to enhance College instruction. Endowing a chair represents the highest possible honor; endowed chairs will further the College’s tradition of excellence in public higher education. They enable the College to offer a more diverse curriculum that is not dependent on usual income sources such as tuition, and they provide long-term financial stability.

Endowing a chair provides the faculty member with recognition for achievement in his or her field, and the satisfaction that Jackson Community College supports quality teaching in that discipline. Students are challenged and guided by exposure to the highest quality academic leadership.

In addition to cementing these instructors’ positions at JC with this “lifetime” honor, each endowed chair will also:

  • Direct a maximum of $10,000 annually for purchase of instructional equipment within that discipline
  • Receive $2,500 for professional development of the chair to pursue and continue studies in that discipline each year
  • Develop and maintain promotional information, including a web page for the chair to promote activities and initiatives of that department
  • Receive six hours of release time each academic year for advancement of that discipline
  • Receive $3,000 annually to construct a colloquium, conference, or similar educational opportunity to benefit students of that department.

About Dr. Wilbur L. Dungy

 Dr. Wilbur L. Dungy was a strong proponent of quality education, and he leaves a lasting legacy for future generations. Dr. Dungy graduated from Jackson High School in 1943 and served in the U.S. military as one of the Tuskegee Airmen, a member of the first unit of black pilots of World War II. He returned to Jackson and attended Jackson Junior College, graduating with his associate degree in 1948. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Michigan, and his doctorate from Michigan State University. He taught high school for one year in Arlington, Va., before returning to Jackson in 1953 to teach biology and anatomy at JC. Dr. Dungy was the first black professor at the College and gave freely of his time to help his students, regularly coming in early and staying late to individually tutor those who were struggling.

He possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of the sciences, but never stopped learning more. With commitment and dedication for his students and an infectious passion for teaching, he taught at JC for 16 years, ending his career as Life Sciences Chair in 1969. He continued his career at Delta College near Bay City.

He passed his love for learning onto his children. Son Tony Dungy, coach of the Indianapolis Colts, has said that, heading a football team, he considers himself more of a teacher than a coach. His children have all become professionals with successful careers – Lauren as a physician, Linden a dentist, and Sherrilyn, a nurse.