Dr. John A. Peoples

(KNFP-02 Advisor)
Retired, President Emeritus

Focus Areas

Community & Civic Engagement
Community & Civic Engagement
Economic Security
Community Development
Higher Education
Leadership Development


John A. Peoples, Jr. is a native of Starkville, Mississippi. After two years in the Marine Corps, he attended Jackson State University and the University of Chicago, where he earned the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees. He served 13 years in the public school system of Gary, Indiana as a teacher and school principal, was was elected President of Jackson State in 1967. During his 17-year tenure as President, the university experienced dramatic growth in enrollment, growing from 2,200 to 7,800. Dr. Peoples is active in community and civic affairs. He has served ten years as a commissioner on the Jackson Airport Authority, four years on the Board of Directors of the Jackson Zoological Park, six years on the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries. He served twenty-five years on the Board of Directors of The Piney Woods Country Life School. He served for 20 years on the Board of Directors of Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center. He served for seven years on the Civil Service Commission of the City of Jackson, Mississippi, two years of which as Chairman. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center, the Board of Directors Mississippi Ballet International, the Board of Directors of the Jackson State National Alumni association, the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He serves as Chairman of the National Blue Ribbon Advisory Commission to the President of Jackson State University. He serves on the executive committee of The Governor’s Commission to Establish a National Civil Rights Museum in Mississippi. In 2009, he was a recipient of the Mississippi Medal of Service from Governor Haley Barbour. Dr. Peoples is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Boule Fraternity. He is a 33rd Degree Mason and a life member of The NAACP. The Mississippi Conference of the NAACP conferred on him The Medgar Evers Award in 1983. He has been elected to the Jackson State University Sports Hall of Fame, the Jackson State University Hall of Fame, the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. In 1993 The National Black College Hall of Fame conferred on Dr. Peoples, The National Black College Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also given the Distinguished Alumni award by the National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO) IN 1993. Dr. Peoples is the author of two books, To Survive And Thrive, published by Town Square Books, Inc. 1995 and How We Got Over, Published by John A. Peoples, PhD. 2008. Dr. Peoples is married to the former Mary E. Galloway. They are the parents of two children, Dr. Kathleen Peoples-Sedlak, Ph.D., a US State Department Embassy Administrator, and Mark A. Peoples, Esq., Attorney, City of New Orleans.