Dr. John A. Peoples Jr.
After earning his doctorate of philosophy, John Arthur Peoples Jr. became the sixth president of Jackson State University in 1967. During his 17-year tenure as president, the university saw increased growth in enrollment, programs, and infrastructure. In 1970, Peoples witnessed the police shootings that took place on the university’s campus. Peoples recalled, “I walked into the [dorm] and there was blood running down the stairways and the smell of gunpowder in the air.” Even after this violent attack, Peoples was able to maintain the positive reputation of the school and uplift student morale. In 1993, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.