Trinity College Names James F. Jones, Jr. as President


Hartford, Conn., February 7, 2004 – James F. Jones, Jr., president of Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Mich., was elected today by the Trinity College Board of Trustees as president of Trinity College. Paul E. Raether, chairman of the Board and of the Presidential Search Committee, made the announcement, describing Jones as “the ideal candidate to lead the College in its commitment to advance liberal arts learning, in the classroom and out.

“Trinity was seeking an individual with proven academic leadership experience, demonstrated management and fundraising success, strong people skills, and a commitment to better the community,” Raether said. “Dr. Jones clearly meets these criteria as both a leader and a scholar with an outstanding ability to transform vision into achievement.” Jones will assume office effective July 1.

“I am most honored to have been selected to lead Trinity College over the coming years,” said Jones. “Recognizing Trinity as a classic liberal arts college with a strong urban and civic identity and an unwavering commitment to excellence, I am eager to join forces with its faculty, students, alumni, and staff. Together, I believe we will be able to build on its considerable successes of the past and integrate all of its parts in a fashion that will enhance student life and learning.”

As president of Kalamazoo, as well as professor in the Humanities, Jones initiated the development of a strategic plan and a comprehensive capital campaign leading to the endowment of ten faculty chairs, substantial student scholarship and faculty development funds, as well as the renovation of four major buildings.  Under his leadership, the College was repositioned to play a pivotal role in the local community while gaining extensive external funding support nationally.

Prior to joining Kalamazoo in 1996, Jones was professor in the Humanities and vice provost of Southern Methodist University and Dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in Dallas, Texas. From 1975 to 1991, Jones held a variety of academic positions at Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri, including professor and chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literature as well as Director, Summer Language Institute in France, Château de la Hercerie, La Croix-en-Touraine. Earlier, he served as Preceptor, Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University, and as chair of the Department of Foreign Languages, Woodward Academy, Atlanta, Georgia. 

Jones received his Doctorate and Master of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University and earned a Master of Arts from Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia. He holds a Certificat, Degré Avancé, from Ecole des Professeurs de Français à l’Etranger, the Sorbonne. 

In his new role as president of Trinity College, Jones will succeed Borden W. Painter, Jr., who has served as acting president since last August when previous president Richard H. Hersh resigned. “We are most fortunate to have had someone as well respected and experienced as Borden to lead the College over these past months,” said Raether.  “He has served the College with distinction, maintaining the strategic direction and agenda that has been established, relentlessly working to strengthen the academic and social aspects of student life on campus.  For his dedication and selfless leadership, we are most appreciative.”   

Painter, a Trinity College alumnus, highly respected history professor, and Director of Italian Programs, described the selection of Jones as consistent with Trinity’s quest for excellence in liberal arts education.  “I am pleased to be able to turn the reins over to someone so clearly capable and qualified to pursue the mission of a liberal arts college,” Painter said, “and who can be counted on to further the many initiatives that are in motion, including curricular review, community as well as global engagement, fund raising, faculty-staff development, diversity, and enrollment management. I look forward to working with him closely over the next months to ensure a strong transition.”

Composed of College trustees, faculty, students and staff, the14-member search committee conducted an extensive nationwide search that considered many nominations and letters of interest with over 60 completed applications. In addition to Raether ’68, Partner, Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts, other trustees serving on the search committee were Thomas R. DiBenedetto ’71, Partner, Junction Investors, Ltd.; Charles R. Perrin ’67, former CEO, Avon Product and Duracell Corp.; Mark A. Leavitt ’80, Managing Director, SG Cowen Securities; Mitchell M. Merin ’75, President, Morgan Stanley Asset Management; Margaret-Mary V. Preston ’79, Executive Vice President, Mercantile Safe-Deposit & Trust Co.; and Margaret J. Young ’76, M. J. Young Associates.

Faculty members on the committee were Dina L. Anselmi, Associate Professor of Psychology, Daniel G. Blackburn, Professor of Biology, Joan D. Hedrick, Professor of History, Ralph A. Morelli, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and Gail H. Woldu, Associate Professor of Music. “As a faculty member on the Committee,” said Blackburn, “I believe that Jimmy Jones brings an extraordinary record in academic administration to the Trinity Presidency, based on his experience as the President of Kalamazoo College and his previous experience as a Vice Provost and Dean at SMU.   He is a passionate advocate of the liberal arts, skillful at fundraising, and well respected as a scholar, teacher, and administrator.   He also has made great strides at Kalamazoo establishing ties between the college and the city.  I am most pleased that we are bringing to Trinity a leader of his vision, stature, and experience.”

Students James M. Nadzieja ’04 and Lydia L. Potter ’05 joined with faculty and trustee Search Committee members in seeing Jones as an outstanding choice. “With his passion for education and genuine love of students,” Nadzieja said, “I believe that Dr. Jones will work closely with students to invigorate campus life and realize the College’s academic and intellectual goals for the future.”

Staff support was provided by Secretary of the College Scott W. Reynolds ’63.  The national search was conducted by Academic Search, Washington, D. C. led by John W. Chandler and Theodore J. Marchese.


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For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2004

Julie Winkel
Mary O'Connor


Presidential Announcement
Media Materials: 
Announcement News Release (Feb. 2004)
  Bio - James F. Jones, Jr.
  College Facts
  Trinity College Presidents
  Search Committee
 Photo Gallery