Jackson State University Communications Receives Gift of Canon Cameras from Getty Images and Canon

JACKSON, Miss. – The Office of University Communications at Jackson State University is the recipient of two Canon camera bodies and three Canon lenses which have been donated by Getty Images, a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace, as part of their new partnership with the institution. Getty Images photographers and editors will mentor JSU students and provide best practices for using the equipment ahead of major events on campus, including collegiate sports and graduation ceremonies. JSU was recently selected for the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archives Grant for Historically Black Colleges, an initiative aimed at preserving and amplifying the invaluable visual history of HBCUs.

Jackson State University is the recipient of two Canon camera bodies and three Canon lenses which have been donated by Getty Images. Pictured L to R: University Photographer Charles A. Smith, Chief Communications Officer Alonda Thomas and President Thomas K. Hudson, J.D.

“This gift of Canon camera equipment is such a pleasant surprise, and it could not have come at a better time as we look to enhance our technology and visual story-telling capabilities,” said Alonda Thomas, JSU chief communications officer and associate vice president for marketing and communications. “Special thanks to Getty Images and Canon for acknowledging the importance of documenting the culture and legacy found at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We’re excited about the many beautiful moments and cherished memories that we will capture with these tools.” 

University Photographer Charles A. Smith said he looks forward to using the new cameras to capture Spring sports for the athletics program, including the upcoming Blue and White Game on April 9thand the spring game that will be televised nationally on ESPN on April 24th. He believes the new camera equipment will help level the playing field.

“This gear will give us more capacity to create the kind of images we need to tell our story. We are a proud institution with a strong heritage, and this gear with help us show the world who we are and what we’ve always done,” said Smith. “I want to thank Getty Images and Canon for gifting us this kind of technology. It is a game-changer, and I assure you that this camera gear will be utilized to the fullest extent of our abilities.” 

Cassandra Illidge, vice president of Partnerships at Getty Images, said the gift is just the beginning of Getty Images’ commitment to HBCUs. 

“It gave us tremendous joy to unveil the Canon professional camera gear gifted to JSU. We are committed to nurturing HBCUs history and ensuring that today’s visuals can be documented with care and preserved,” said Illidge.  

“Canon is honored to work in tandem with Getty Images to help the students at JSU become the next generation of visual storytellers,” said Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group.

Funding from the grant will support the digitization of 50,000 archival photographs from Jackson State’s library, including future images captured with the donated Canon equipment. The archivistsand librarians from the H.T. Sampson Library at Jackson State University will work alongside the Getty Images’ team in the photo digitization process. Adnet Global, a renowned post-production agency that specializes in the digitization, restoration, and discoverability of visual analog historic libraries, will also participate. Jackson State University will retain all copyright of its photos and once digitized, the historical content will be placed in a newly created stand-alone photo collection called the “Historically Black Colleges & Universities Collection,” which is now available for licensing on gettyimages.com, with more images to be added throughout this year. JSU will also begin distributing photography from campus life and sporting events through Getty Images in 2022.