'My Happy Place' is a weekly Press series in which local notables take us on a tour of a favorite spot in their home.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — After growing up in Baltimore and attending college in New Hampshire, Brian K. Jackson took a leap of faith and moved to South Jersey.

The chief operating officer of Stockton University’s Atlantic City campus finds comfort and a sense of home in his family room. Moving to South Jersey had been a culture shock for Jackson after uprooting from Baltimore.

“This particular space is one of my favorites in the house because it’s really warm, comfortable and comforting,” Jackson said. “We particularly like it up here when it’s cold in the winter time and have the dogs up here with us. We watch movies, or we’ll pull something off our bookshelf.”

Jackson and his husband, Michael, surround the room with family photos and artwork. Their photos consist of friends and family. Some of the oldest being their childhood portraits, and Jackson’s photo with his mother on prom night.

Two of their favorite pieces are from local artist, Betty Ann Bembry. Jackson is passionate about African American heritage and helped found the African American Heritage museum of South Jersey in 2002. Some of Bembry’s notable work has been on exhibit at the museum Jackson helped found.

Jackson enjoys the serenity and peace the room exudes. The room becomes his quiet place after a long or stressful day. He enjoys reading from his vast decision of magazines and books.

“This room has changed a little bit in the 14 years,” said Jackson. “Like any house, once every few years something needs to be refreshed. A couple years ago we repainted the room, bought new chairs and new accents.”

Jackson has been with Stockton for about 21 years and has been an active member since. He had previously served as chief of staff to the president and assistant secretary to the Stockton Board of Trustees. Since 2004, Jackson co-chaired Stockton’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

“Moving to South Jersey was a leap of faith, but I think it was the best decision I ever made.” Jackson said.

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