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Celebration in Honor of Tom Jones


Nearly 50 people gathered at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business on April 25 to celebrate the ongoing legacy and strategic impact of Thomas (Tom) C. Jones, BBA ’68, MBA ’71, a prominent donor and valued advisor to the school.

The Celebration in Honor of Tom Jones kicked off with a ribbon cutting of the newly named Thomas C. Jones Undergraduate Innovation Suite and concluded with a program featuring remarks by Edward J. Frey Dean of Business Sharon F. Matusik and others. 

“Tom Jones has been a steadfast supporter of the Ross School of Business for decades,” Dean Matusik said, “and his targeted philanthropic giving to transform our BBA program continues to have real-life positive impacts on our undergraduate students.” 

During the celebratory event, Dean Matusik spoke about the many ways Tom Jones has contributed to and benefited Ross over the years. His early philanthropy to Ross began in 1996 when he established the Jane M. and Chester R. Jones Undergraduate Merit Scholarship in memory of his parents. Since the scholarship’s establishment, nearly $2 million has been awarded to more than 170 students. Jones has also been a valued member of the Ross School Advisory Board since 2004. 

In 2005, Jones created the Thomas C. Jones Undergraduate Innovation Initiative with the goal of enhancing the core educational experiences of undergraduate students through a robust portfolio of innovative leadership development opportunities, action-based learning programs, and integrative experiences. At the time Jones made his gift, it was the largest donation ever to an undergraduate business program and, as then U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said at the time, it raised the bar for business education at the undergraduate level, both at U-M and across the country. Also in 2005, Jones received the Bert F. Wertman Alumni Service Award at Ross. 

More recently, and as approved by the University of Michigan Board of Regents on April 1, Jones funding is enabling the creation of the Thomas C. Jones Associate Deanship for Undergraduate Education. This is the first named associate deanship across the university. Norman Bishara is the inaugural faculty holder of this associate deanship. 

As evident through his longstanding philanthropy and service to Ross, Jones is passionate about Michigan Ross and its ability to foster generations of purpose-driven business leaders. What he said at a Donors & Scholars Celebration at the school in 2005 still rings true today: 

“Like all Ross School of Business graduates, I think of myself as a builder — someone who understands that shaping a winning organization, university, business, or career requires strategic thinking,” he said. “And thinking strategically demands that you not only visualize the future but that you invest today — in a very focused and disciplined way —  to make sure your vision comes to life.” 

Jones’s vision for an extraordinary and results-driven BBA program has, indeed, come to life, thanks to his extraordinary dedication and support. Please visit the webpage for the Thomas C. Jones Undergraduate Innovation Initiative to learn more.

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