Alumnus and wife establish scholarship
BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University alumnus Joe Jacques and his wife, Joy, both natives of Stroudsburg, have endowed an accounting scholarship at BU.
The couple, residents of Rockville, Md., donated $250,000 to the Bloomsburg University Foundation to establish a five-year accounting scholarship that will help students from their freshman year through their master’s degree, said Michael Tidwell, dean of BU's College of Business.
But the scholarship is not aimed at the student at the top of the class. Instead, the scholarship is for students who Joe Jacques, a 1974 BU graduate, might recognize as his younger self.
“I was an OK student in high school, but excelled in college,” he said. “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, Jacques said. A member of BU’s College of Business Advisory Board, Joe Jacques is owner and CEO of Jacques Financial, LLC, established in Rockville, Md., 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. The son of Joseph and Millie Jacques of Stroudsburg, he transferred to BU from Northampton Community College, he said, “based on the reputation of Bloomsburg.
I knew it was where I wanted to go.” Three of his siblings also graduated from BU.
Joy Turner Jacques, the daughter of Dan Turner of Stroudsburg, is an academic therapist working with dyslexic students. 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 said. “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.”
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. BU serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.