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
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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