Celebratory Send-Off for DJ Jackson’s 30 Years of Service to St. Stephen’s

The St. Stephen’s community came together for a celebratory send-off for a well-known and engaging member of the Dining Hall team who served students, faculty and staff for 30 years. De Wayne “DJ” Jackson brought his dedication, positive energy and passion to campus every day, and lived up to his name by turning into a music DJ creating playlists for everyone to rock out to while standing in the lunch line.

During a recent chapel service, a number of people shared stories and reminiscenced good memories from the past 30 years. Dean of Faculty Wallis Goodman shared nostalgic snapshots, alums Chula Robertson ’09 and Rose Robertson ’06 told heartwarming stories, and Apollo Percussion lined up for a final performance together – which included DJ playing the congas. Seniors Kamau Brame ’24 and Kevin Kimazi ’24 also surprised DJ by holding up a large “Happy Retirement” banner, which included DJ’s name and years of service.

The ultimate surprise came when talented artist Jerry Zhang ’24 presented DJ and his wife, Cynthia, who also works in the Dining Hall, with a portrait Zhang painted of the two – based on a photo from their early days shortly after they started dating. Zhang said DJ and Cynthia commissioned him to do the work of art. The couple had always wanted a painting of the photograph, and several people on campus told DJ and Cynthia that Zhang is a very talented painter..

“They came up to me during lunch, and asked me if I could do it,” said Zhang ’24. “And I was like, ‘yeah, totally!’ [Painting] is one of my biggest passions and I think it has been a really cool exercise for me and also really fun to create.”
The portrait presentation brought the couple to tears.
“We love it,” said Cynthia. “It’s beautiful, I mean right on point.”
Happy retirement, DJ, and we thank you for your three decades of meaningful and impactful service to the entire St. Stephen’s community.
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213