While Joe Jacques ’74 was building his business and raising a family with his wife, Joy, he remembered Bloomsburg University as the “kind of campus that is small and personal, a place to meet good friends, a comfortable atmosphere.” An opportunity to reconnect with the university five years ago showed him, although the university has grown both physically and in enrollment, the description still holds true.
Recognizing the need for scholarships, Jacques, owner and CEO of Jacques Financial, LLC, in Rockville, Md., and his wife recently donated $250,000 to the Bloomsburg University Foundation. The donation establishes a five-year accounting scholarship to help students progress from their freshman year through their master’s degree, says Michael Tidwell, dean of BU’s College of Business.
The scholarship is designed for motivated students, but not those at the top of their high school graduating class. “I was an OK student in high school, but excelled in college,” Joe Jacques says. “Most scholarships are for students with a 4.0 grade point average. Ours is for students who are good, hard workers and trying. We want to give back to kids who may not be as fortunate as others.”
The Joe and Joy Jacques Accounting Scholarship is actually five individual five-year scholarships. A student who receives the award for freshman year may renew it each year through the master’s degree level if he or she shows progress. An accountant is now required to have a master’s degree or five years of college education before entering the field.
Joe Jacques, a member of BU’s College of Business Advisory Board, established Jacques Financial in 1979. The firm specializes in tax returns and financial planning services and is ranked by the financial magazine Barron’s as 10th among all financial advisers in Maryland.
He has appeared as a tax expert on ABC’s “Nightline” and local TV news, assisted U.S. Senate and House committees in financial and tax-related matters and headed the financial investigation of Billy Carter, brother of former president Jimmy Carter, after the Senate Judiciary Committee appointed him in 1980. He transferred to BU from Northampton Community College and three of his siblings also graduated from BU.
Joy Jacques, an academic therapist working with dyslexic students, was an Intensive Care nurse for 10 years. She worked for Jacques Financial while raising the couple’s four children, Jeph, Justin, Joelle and Jeremy, then returned to college to major in psychology and prepare for her current career. The Jacqueses have been married nearly 38 years.
“When I lead seminars, I tell participants that working hard doesn’t guarantee success, but if you don’t work hard, you’ll never be successful,” Joe Jacques says. “This scholarship is for somebody who may not have all of the advantages, but has the drive. Bloomsburg will give them the skills to be extremely competitive in any environment.”