Donor Profile: Jamel C. Perkins '97, MBA '02, MS '05

March 2, 2017

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BUFFALO, NY - Jamel C. Perkins ’97, MBA ’02, MS ’05, is passionate about his job but not entirely for traditional reasons.  Instead, this technology executive for Sodexo, a world leader in quality of life services, provides him with a means to an end. 

“My job enables me to give back to the community,” Perkins says. 

His attitude wasn’t always so altruistic. Growing up, Perkins’ goals were more materialistic, he concedes.

“I wanted to earn enough money to buy a big house and a big boat for myself.”

Perkins learned the true meaning of altruism a bit later in life when his father’s battle with cancer forced him to retire from the job that helped put Perkins through Canisius. 

“My father gave his all so opportunities could be available to me,” he says.

Now, Perkins is committed to doing the same for others. 

He is a volunteer and charitable contributor to the Food Bank of Western New York, Hospice and the Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo.  Perkins also serves on the National Academy Foundation (NAF) board of directors for the West Seneca and Hamburg school districts.  The foundation works to include industry-specific STEM curricula and learning experiences in local school districts. 

Canisius College is also a beneficiary of Perkins’ generosity. 

He is a benevolent financial supporter of the Canisius Fund and the Master of Business of Administration Scholarship Fund.  Perkins is also a new member of the Leadership Society. 

He is equally generous in his efforts to enhance the alumni and academic life of the college. 

Perkins serves on the Master of Business Administration Alumni Board and and on the Canisius Fund Cabinet.  But it’s his role as an adjunct professor of marketing and information systems that he finds most meaningful. 

“The late Dr. Linda Volonino (professor of information systems), was very influential to me professionally and personally,” recalls Perkins. “I admired her wealth of knowledge and like her, I try to incorporate real-world experiences into the classroom.”

For Perkins, they’re experiences that brought him full circle. 

“The educational and social experiences I gained at Canisius truly shaped me into the person I am today,” he concludes.  “I am happy to pass what I have learned to the next generation of Canisius students.”