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Johnnie Gross, Jackson State University Recruiter


St. Louis, MO…, On Thursday, October 12, 2023, The Jackson State Development Foundation Inc. honored Mr. Johnnie Gross (pictured) by adding his name to the “Legacy Donor Wall”. The wall represents donors who have made significant contributions to the university.

Not only has Mr. Gross supported the school with his treasures, but he has also spent many years giving his time. He is a graduate of Jackson State University (JSU) in Jackson, MS. He started recruiting students in 1985 under the guidance of Dr. Estimore Wolfe, JSU alumni, student recruiter for Detroit, MI, and Ms. Linda Rush, Director of Marketing and Recruitment at JSU. He states that they taught him the pros and cons of recruiting students and the careful guidelines for recruiting athletes using NCAA rules and restrictions for alumni.

When he started recruitment, there were only 20 students from the St. Louis and Metro East areas at JSU. At one time, this number improved to more than 130. During his tenure, he selected students attending high schools with a large enrollment of African-American students. His goal was to advise students to be aware of the benefits of attending JSU and to complete their education at an HBCU. The schools targeted most were Hazelwood Central, Cardinal Ritter College Prep, McClure North, and Belleville East.

From 1985-2015, he served as JSU St. Louis Chapter President, Board of Director Member, and Midwest Regional Vice President for a total of 17 years plus service to the university and the JSU National Alumni Inc. For health reasons, he had to give up his regular recruiting duties, but he still assists the new younger alumnus with operating the alumni chapter and does still occasionally recruit.

During his membership at Washington Metropolitan, he helped three students matriculate to JSU. All three graduated and are enjoying their careers. We are thankful for his commitment to our young people.


Jackson State University, Johnnie Gross, Recruiter, Washington Metropolitan


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