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Godfrey, Illinois
A State of the Art Humanities Center in Southwest Illinois
The Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities at Lewis and Clark Community College was established with an NEH challenge grant. Image courtesy of Lewis and Clark Community College.

In 2015, Lewis and Clark Community College (L&C) opened the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities (MJCH). The center is named for Mannie Jackson, award-winning former owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, philanthropist, entrepreneur, author, documentary producer, businessman, Hall of Famer, and professional basketball player. Jackson grew up near Edwardsville and attended the historic Lincoln School that now houses the MJCH. He was the center’s second major funder—the first was the National Endowment for the Humanities, which awarded L&C $250,000 in 2011 as one of the first six endowment challenge grants ever awarded to a community college. The endowment challenge grant, which required a two-to-one match, has resulted in extensive dividends for L&C and the local community: it spurred approximately a $5 million renovation project of the historic Lincoln School to house the center and established an endowment to fund its work. In the coming months, L&C plans to launch yet another initiative as a result of this grant: the $16–20 million construction of a conference center that will enhance the center’s offerings.

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