Marshall Recreation Center launches adventures in the wild program; 1959 MU alum makes it possible

Updated 1 year ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Marshall Recreation Center launches adventures in the wild program; 1959 MU alum makes it possible

Marshall University’s new “Adventures in the Wild” program will prepare its students to survive in the wilderness and also provide students with leadership skills. These students will learn how to function in the back country, primarily within West Virginia, according to Chad Steen, outdoor pursuits coordinator for the Marshall Recreation Center.


Steen said the program would not be possible without the generous support of Richard “Dick” Jackson, a 1959 graduate of the university.

“It is an honor to be working with Mr. Jackson and the university on the Adventures in the Wild program. This program has the potential to bring a dynamic element to student life at Marshall with the leaderships skills taught through adventure sports,” Steen said. “I am excited to see this program change the lives of the students involved and the outdoor recreation awareness that will be created as a result.”

Jackson, a retired Marine officer and author of “On the Edge: Life Changing Adventures in the Wild,” said the idea developed after a conversation with President Jerry Gilbert who recommended a wilderness program be considered as an addition to the Marshall curriculum.

“I met Jerry Gilbert about a year ago and asked if there was anything I can do to assist him,” Jackson said. “He told me he would think about it. Fortunately, I also gave him a copy of my book I had written about adventures I experienced in my life in the Marine Corps and later over a 25-year period while working in Atlanta. Later, when speaking with him, President Gilbert said he had read my book and asked if I would consider investing in an outdoor program for students at Marshall … This was a perfect decision and I’m delighted to be involved.”

A longtime supporter of the university, Jackson said this program is the first of its kind at Marshall and should enhance student involvement in a very positive way, as it is designed to promote team-building, self-reliance and personal growth.

A series of adventures are planned for the spring 2018 semester. The program will operate in accordance with the university’s academic calendar. The first trip is scheduled for April 6-10; the second trip is scheduled for June 8-12; and the third trip is July 27-31. Led by program staff at the Marshall Recreation Center, the program will be offered to 10 students.

To learn more about Adventures in the Wild, contact Steen by phone at 304-696-4653 or by e-mailing For more information on programs and services offered by the Marshall Recreation Center, visit

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