The story behind the Jameson 5K at Southwestern
Sometimes blessings really do come from tragedy, and for seventeen Southwestern science students, that is truly the case.
The Jameson 5K at Southwestern University helps fund an endowed scholarship that was created in memory of an alumnus of the university who died in a scuba diving accident shortly after graduating.
Jaysn Jameson graduated from Southwestern in 1990. After his passing in 1991, his sister, Kenda Jameson Evans, Southwestern class of 1992, created the Jaysn Jameson Memorial Scholarship in her brother’s memory. Both science majors, Jaysn and Kenda received financial aid that allowed them to attend Southwestern, so Kenda thought a scholarship would be the best way to honor her brother’s memory.
In the mid-nineties, with the help of friends, family, and fellow graduates, Kenda came up with a way to help fund the scholarship and to ensure that her brother’s memory is kept alive on campus and in the community. “Jaysn was an avid runner,” she says, “so I thought, what better way to raise money for the scholarship than to hold a 5K run at Southwestern during Homecoming Weekend.” The first official Jameson 5K at Southwestern was held in 2001.
In fourteen years, 3,500 Southwestern alumni and Georgetown community members have participated in the run, raising more than $84,700 for the scholarship fund. While the race is held on and around the Southwestern campus, all Georgetown community members are welcome to participate. “A majority of our ‘repeat offenders’ are not affiliated with the university,” Kenda says.
Always striving to increase the number of participants in order to raise more money and help more students, Kenda encourages individuals, running clubs, and cross country and track teams to register. She reminds runners that the course is certified, “so competitive runners can even use it as a qualifier for other races.”
The 14th annual Jameson 5K will be held Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, as part of Homecoming and Reunion Weekend at Southwestern. Runners can preregister at www.jameson5k.com or register on-site, in either case with the option of receiving a race t-shirt. Non-runners and those who just want to support the scholarship may make a donation at the website, and walkers may want to consider participating in the 1-Mile Mosey. With one hundred percent of registration fees going directly to the scholarship fund, every J5K participant can help turn one family’s tragedy into blessings for many students to come.