Zeke Jackson stands holding the Tomato Can Loving Cup trophy with Vladas Griskevicius.

Zeke Jackson Named Tomato Can Loving Cup Award Winner

Saturday, May 13, 2023

For his commitment to academic excellence, leadership, and community service, Zeke Jackson is the winner of the 2023 Tomato Can Loving Cup Award, the most prestigious award the Carlson School of Management bestows on an undergraduate student.

"College has been an incredible journey of personal and professional growth," Jackson says. "Receiving this award feels like validation that I'm asking the right questions and working on the right problems. This award not only eases my financial burden in pursuing an MBA, but it also is a powerful motivator for me to continue striving for excellence, making a difference, and embodying the values of the Carlson School."

Throughout his time at the University, Jackson, an Ecolab Carlson School Scholar, has left a lasting impact both on and off campus. An Entrepreneurship and Political Science double major, Jackson served as the student body vice president and as the executive director and CEO of People for PSEO, a nonprofit he helped start while in high school that promotes, defends, and expands opportunities for high school students through the Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program.

Building on his work, Jackson was awarded a $15,000 2023 John DePodesta Leadership Fellowship to build a venture to “identify barriers and develop alternatives to better utilize available capacity within post-secondary education institutions for high school students.”

He also was the recipient of the President’s Student Leadership and Service Award, which recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding student leaders at the University.

"Nothing I’ve done would have been possible without the deep business and service knowledge I have gained during my time at the Carlson School," he wrote in his nomination essay. 

The award was given, for the 95th time, at the Farewelcome Celebration on Friday, which per the engraving on its side, is “presented annually to that person who in the course of the year has rendered the most distinctive service to the school.”

By winning the award, Jackson is eligible for a half-tuition scholarship to the Carlson School Full-Time MBA program following two years of professional work experience.

The oldest award given to students by the Carlson School, its history dates to 1929 when students asked Dean Russell Stevenson to present an outstanding service award to a senior. Henry Hilton, ’29 BSB, volunteered to make the trophy that would be presented to the winner. As a joke, he fashioned a trophy from a tomato soup can nailed to a wooden candlestick that belonged to his mother. To Hilton’s surprise, Stevenson presented him with his own creation, which became known as the Tomato Can Loving Cup Award. The increasingly rickety soup can is given each year.

Fall 2023 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Fall 2023 alumni magazine

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