Florida State University: Donor's Biography

I needed reliable income to live on. But I get double satisfaction knowing that FSU can use this money when I die. I don't worry about investing, I have security.
Jack Sisson

In 2006, Jack was honored by Florida State University for his ongoing financial support of FSU, particularly in its research into traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related subjects. Below is the text of FSU's statement at that ceremony.


Throughout his life, JOHN P. "JACK" SISSON has been passionate about education and helping others. Before a long and varied career as an entrepreneur, author, investor, educator, community organizer, and philanthropist, he received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Duke University in 1950. Jack started his career in financial training at General Electric but left to pursue religious study, including a year in the Jesuits. He later continued his pursuit of knowledge by taking classes in real estate at Florida State University and by attending its study abroad program in art and political philosophy in Florence, Italy.

Driven by the desire for equality and social justice, Jack played a role in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's when he worked with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and may others to desegregate hospitals, schools, and communities in the South. In addition he established the legislative liaison office for the Department of Children and Family Services in Tallahassee. Also, Jack oversaw operations in 17 states while working for the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice in New Orleans.

But in 1989, an automobile accident changed the course of his life. Jack has been living with traumatic brain injury (TBI) since the accident. His quest to learn more about TBI and ways to manage his pain led him to a new passion: increasing awareness about TBI and advocating for patients rights and proper plans of medical care.

Jack invested in FSU by establishing two charitable gift annuities -- one in the College of Social Sciences' public administration program and the other in TBI research. The security provided by his charitable gift annuities gives Jack time to research TBI and to educate others about TBI through his Web site and blog. They provide a forum for TBI patients and caregivers to find effective treatments and friends online. In addition, they link people to TBI resources and build a culture of TBI survivors that is conducive to healing.

Jack has spent more than 17 years researching solutions for patients with TBI. His generous gifts will ensure that the educators and policy makers of tomorrow will be able to continue his work well into the future.