Jackie Cooke of Jefferson Health
Photo: Courtesy of Jefferson Health

Grateful for the Journey

Jackie Cooke ’77 is a physician for Jefferson Medical Group in Cherry Hill, N.J. Of her life’s journey, she says, “Mine is a cautionary tale of a diamond in the rough who received assistance from people who do not look like me but took me under their tutelage.”
1. How did Bucknell shape your career?
My fondest memory is meeting staff psychologist Arlyne Hoyt M’70 and Professors Sally Nyquist, biology, and Bennett Willeford, chemistry, at the First Baptist Church, where I worshipped. They became my mentors and friends on a journey that took me — a city hood rat — to a medical career. What a blessing they were and are to me.
2. What class opened your eyes the most?
Motivation and Emotion by Professor Gerald Levin, psychology. He discovered that I had dyslexia after I turned in an assignment that was written backward!
3. If you could go back to college, what would you do differently?
Absolutely nothing. Everything worked out the way God intended, and I am grateful for that.
4. What fun moment at Bucknell is the most memorable for you?
Once, during a basketball game, I got a breakaway steal and roared to the basket in Tustin Gym, which was small. My sister, Sandra ’78, yelled, “The wall, the wall!” I scored the basket, kept running and climbed that wall behind it to not get hurt.
5. What lesson did you learn at Bucknell that you still carry with you?
When I needed help from the Bucknell community and the First Baptist Church, it was provided. I want to be there for others, whatever their Bucknell experience has been or is. The Black Alumni Association, Bucknell University Alumni Association and the University community have joined forces to ensure that every student can thrive at Bucknell.