Alumni Profile – Jerry Stokes, Class of 1968
This article appeared originally in the Fall 2019 issue of Frontiers Magazine.
“Running teaches you about life,” Jerry Stokes says. “In a marathon, your body tells you to quit, but you have to persevere. A marathon teaches you to push past your doubts in order to keep chasing the goal.”
Persevering is something Jerry Stokes has done throughout his life — from his years at Spartanburg Methodist College to his life as an accountant, cross-country coach, and loving father. As the first person in his family to pursue a college degree, Jerry worked several jobs to pay for tuition at Spartanburg Methodist before transferring on to USC to complete a Psychology degree. “Spartanburg Methodist was excellent at laying the foundation for future learning. It was an excellent steppingstone in my life,” he states.
From there, he worked full time with an insurance company while also enrolled in evening classes to become a CPA. It was during his early professional career that he discovered running — a passion he has enjoyed for more than 45 years. Now at 71 years old, Jerry still works as a CPA with no plans for retirement. He also coaches cross-country for Camden High School and still runs marathons. He enjoys what he does and is thankful for the opportunity to have impacted so many people simply from his love of running.