Longtime MTSU supporter Rebecca Jones dies

Longtime MTSU supporter Rebecca Jones dies

Longtime MTSU supporter Rebecca Jones, right, talks with President Sidney A. McPhee in April following the university’s Celebration of Philanthropy luncheon. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

The MTSU community is mourning the passing of Mrs. Rebecca Jones, widow of the late Jennings A. Jones, for whom the university’s renowned College of Business was named.

Mrs. Jones died Thursday, Aug. 9, at age 99.

Mrs. Jones and her husband of 68 years were well-known for their philanthropic efforts through the Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation, a charitable foundation established in 1986 that has funded numerous nonprofit initiatives throughout the community as well as collaborated with MTSU.

“Rebecca Jones was a dear friend to Middle Tennessee State University and her family’s involvement and support will have a substantial and lasting impact upon our institution,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said.

“Jennings and Rebecca Jones, along with their family foundation, made more than $1.8 million in gifts to the university. Their contributions have established two Chairs of Excellence, created and supported a K-12 education program and a reading academy and supported programs as diverse as our College of Business and our historic printing press.

“It was their desire to positively impact future generations of MTSU students that led Mr. and Mrs. Jones to establish two of MTSU’s first endowed Chairs of Excellence, one in Free Enterprise and the other in Urban and Regional Planning. The two Jones Chairs have allowed MTSU to attract a wide array of academic, government and civic leaders to fill these important and unique educational positions.

“Jennings Jones was a true civic leader. In 2005, we also mourned his passing. At all times, Rebecca, his wife and partner, joined Jennings in making this community and our university better.”

Dr. Jim Burton, dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, said that he and the college’s faculty and staff are “deeply saddened by the passing of Mrs. Rebecca Jones, wife of the college namesake and dear friend and benefactor of the college.

“Through both their philanthropy and their direct interest and involvement, Mr. and Mrs. Jones had been an integral part of the Jones College of Business for many years. A regular participant in conferences and seminars sponsored by the college, Mrs. Jones was always well-informed about current events and very supportive of educational initiatives at all levels.

“Mrs. Jones remained quite vibrant and involved until recent health issues prevented her participation. Not only were Mr. and Mrs. Jones extraordinary benefactors to the college, they were dear personal friends and mentors. As with Jennings, Rebecca will be greatly missed by the Jones College family and especially by me.”

Graveside services for Mrs. Jones will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Evergreen Cemetery.Visitation with the family will be at noon Saturday at Woodfin Memorial Chapel until service time.

Memorials may be made to Linebaugh Library, the Jesse C. Beesley Foundation Program or the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring.