President Bill Jones Honored
The grandchildren of Dr. Bill Jones play under the podium as Jones addresses the student body, family and friends. (Photo by Seth Berry)
By Janai Tedder
CIU Student Writer
Applause thundered in Shortess Chapel on April 18, as students, faculty, friends and family gathered to honor and thank outgoing CIU President Dr. Bill Jones for his leadership, vision and service to CIU over the last 10 years. Jones is moving to the chancellor position at CIU on July 1 when Dr. Mark A. Smith becomes president.
“He’s done such a good job building up CIU,” said Tobin Castles, a member of the CIU Board of Trustees. “President Jones has always been true to CIU’s mission to educate people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations of Christ.”
Resolutions honoring Jones were presented by representatives of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) and the South Carolina General Assembly.
“We will miss the advice and counsel of a fellow board member, counsellor and friend,” said Mike LeFever, president of SCICU. “We are glad you’re not going far.”
State Sen. Darrell Jackson, a CIU alumnus, said he has “never met a leader like Bill Jones anywhere, not even at the White House.”
Jones served five years as chairman of the board at Ben Lippen School, the Pre-K to 12th grade ministry of CIU. Ben Lippen Board member Renee Brooks thanked Jones for his service
“His leadership style can be summed up in one word: relationships,” Brooks said. “We have been unified as a board under his leadership and are grateful for his past support and commitment to us, as well as his future support.”
The CIU student body also demonstrated their thanks by gifting Jones, an avid hunter, with an elk knife as a token of their appreciation.
“President Jones always remembers everyone’s name on campus,” junior Heather Hoopes said. “He has always challenged, encouraged and inspired me.”
“I’ve always appreciated his open door policy and willingness to let students come to his office and talk,” sophomore Joseph Knight added.
Jones’ friend, Dr. Andre Rogers, professor of Church Ministry, summed up Jones’ legacy by referencing 2 Timothy 4:7-8.
“He has fought the good fight and finished the race,” Rogers said. “But it’s not over, he is still fighting. We’re grateful it’s not over but just beginning in a new role. On behalf of CIU, we love you.”