Announcing the Jalesia Horton Memorial Library School Scholarship

Jaleisa Horton smiling
In memory of Jalesia Horton, 1992-2024

SMU Libraries is proud to announce that our Friends of SMU Libraries Library School Scholarship has been renamed in honor of our friend and colleague, Jalesia Horton. Jalesia joined SMU Libraries in 2019 and worked here until her passing on February 28, 2024, following a courageous battle with cancer. The newly renamed Jalesia Horton Memorial Library School Scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time staff member or intern enrolled in library school to become a librarian.

As director of Access Services and Resource Sharing, Jalesia led our Access Services team across all libraries and supervised several Fondren Library departments that provide Main Desk, Interlibrary Loan and stacks management services. Her team remembers her as an exceptional supervisor and a supportive mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and inspired them to pursue librarianship. Jalesia believed in ensuring everyone had equal access to our libraries’ resources and services. Her dedication will have a lasting impact on our workplace and the community we serve.

Jalesia, an active member of national librarian organizations, was awarded the 2023 Virginia Boucher Distinguished Interlibrary Loan Librarian Award from the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) STARS, a division of the American Library Association. She served on RUSA’s executive committee for three years, was vice chair/chair-elect of STARS and served on The Library Collective’s advisory council. Jalesia’s colleagues throughout the academic library community have commented on her talents and contributions to the field and how much they will miss her collegiality and wonderful camaraderie.

As we continue to mourn the loss of Jalesia, we also celebrate the incredible person she was. Jalesia will be remembered as a calm, thoughtful friend with a heart of gold. She loved to travel, especially on cruises, and was a big supporter of the arts. She had season tickets to Broadway Dallas and would excitedly share which shows she planned to see. One of Jalesia’s defining characteristics was a love of learning. She held a BS in biology from Armstrong State University, a Master of Library and Information Science from Valdosta State University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia College & State University.

SMU Libraries staff hope to honor her memory by continuing to embody the values of kindness, compassion, and dedication that she lived by every day.