ELLISVILLE – After 11 years, Jones College’s Christmas with the Arts toy drive continues to serve as a vital part of the annual Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. The community’s donations of new unwrapped toys for admission to the Jones College Christmas program have often provided hundreds of families some happiness during the holidays with these gifts. Toys will be distributed on Monday, December 11, to the nearly 250 families who signed up for the program, with 611 children needing a little Christmas joy. Salvation Army’s Commanding Officer in Laurel, Captain Keisha McMullin explained that an additional 150 kids were added to the list this year, but she’s grateful for the tremendous response from the Jones College family.
“There are several ‘Angels’ still hanging on the tree in the mall in Laurel and if no one adopts them, these gifts will fill those needs, so we don’t have to purchase gifts. We are so thankful for what the college community does to help every year with this program. I wish everyone could see my smile right now looking at all these gifts!” exclaimed Captain McMullin.
Necessities and Christmas gifts are provided for disadvantaged children from infants to age 12, through the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program in Jones, Jasper, Wayne, Clarke, Smith and Simpson counties. For more information about the Angel Tree project, go to https://salvationarmyalm.org/
For more information, call the Jones College of Art, Music and Performance Office at 601-477-4203 or follow Jones College Art, Music and Performance Facebook Page and Twitter.
ELLISVILLE- For the last four years, Jones College’s Day of Giving event has surpassed goals but this year’s generous friends and alumni of the two-year college have exceeded expectations four-fold from previous years. In 2019, $28,000 was raised and in 2021, $71,000 was pledged. Last year’s total of $108, 325.66 was unbelievable and this year’s total of $652,616.48 has the JCJC Alumni & Foundation Office almost speechless.
“The Jones College Foundation cannot express in words the gratitude and appreciation for the dedication and commitment of the unwavering support received on this year’s Day of Giving. The contributions from alumni and friends of the college have created a ripple effect, touching the lives of many in immeasurable ways. It is through this generosity and commitment that the Jones College Foundation achieved a remarkable milestone on the National Day of Giving this year,” said Vice President of External Funding, Sabrina Young.
Many of the donations are from alumni like Lorrie Thompson who along with her husband Chris, endowed the Cade Thompson Memorial Scholarship on Tuesday’s Day of Giving. The 1993 JC alumna, Lorrie Thompson, and her husband wanted to continue the legacy of their 18-year-old son Cade who was set to graduate from West Jones High School in 2022. He was already taking classes at Jones when he was involved in a fatal accident on October 20, 2021.
“He would have been proud that we were doing this, that’s what he would have wanted, but he wouldn’t want any recognition. That was not like him. He didn’t want the spotlight on him, but I could see him standing there with a grin on his face, proud,” said Lorrie.
The West Jones football player’s jersey, #56 has been retired in his honor and the couple have also established scholarships for West Jones High School football players and cheerleaders. They hope this scholarship established on Jones College’s Day of Giving will help a student like Cade who was an average student who loved fishing, football and his family.
“We want to keep building on the scholarship, maybe every year in memory of Cade,” said Chris. “To this day, we still get postcards, letters and stuff from people from Florida, Georgia, places all over. People were praying for us from the Philippines. There are just good people out there who still remember us and want to give back too.”
The Thompson’s were not alone in their desire to “pay it forward” on JC’s Day of Giving. Jones College 2023 alumna and current student, Chanel Evans of Hattiesburg announced the establishment of a scholarship in her brother’s memory. She returned to Jones College in 2021 after a 20-year hiatus from academia and pursuing a career in restaurant management. The current Division Field Training Manager/Franchise Development for the Wendy’s Company earned her associate of arts degree in psychology in 2023, but the 38-year-old non-traditional student decided to return for another year to earn an associate of arts in interdisciplinary studies with plans to graduate in May. Evans is simultaneously working on her Bachelor of Arts degree in Diversity and Cultural Awareness from Southern New Hampshire University and has plans to earn another bachelor’s degree from Harvard Extension School or Cornell University. Additionally, she’s earned numerous certifications in human relations and marketing, all because of her brother’s encouragement to finish college.
“Rashad was the kind of person who would literally give you his last and so he did as his parting gift to the world was his essence, he was an organ donor. Because he was so gracious, as one of my greatest supporters, it inspired me. He always wanted me to finish college, so I felt it was incumbent upon me to carry out his legacy by just finishing what I started,” shared Evans. “Also, to be able to pay the blessing forward to someone else (with a scholarship) has to be one of the greatest accomplishments of my time. There were so many times when scholarships were the difference between me progressing through another semester or sitting out.”
Earlier this fall, while also taking classes online, Chanel established the Rashad Evans Memorial Scholarship for nontraditional students at Jones College. She wanted to announce it on the “Day of Giving” as a way to inspire others to support her alma mater.
“Even when I’m not here, his legacy will thrive, and that opportunity will continue to enable others to accomplish their goals. Donors are investing in the leaders of tomorrow, affording them boundless opportunities through their graciousness. Your donation is so much more than monetary. You are investing in our students and the talents of the leaders of tomorrow who will shape the world,” said Evans, who serves as the Phi Theta Kappa honor society’s Honors in Action Director.
Additionally, Jones College students pitched in to support the college by buying bow ties to dress up the bronze bobcat on the C.L. Neill Plaza for the Day of Giving. Phi Theta Kappa President, Kadin Johnston from Waynesboro wanted to give back and pay it forward.
“Jones College has offered me many opportunities for my life because of the Presidential Scholarship I received. Jones has given me a firm foundation, prepared me and it has helped me be a well-developed, well-rounded student. I’m thankful to be at Jones College,” said Johnston.
Joining together as a Jones College community along with the JC family of friends and alumni, helped to secure the non-profit Foundation’s mission of supporting the college as it continues to thrive. The main purpose of this concerted effort is to build awareness of how the Jones College Foundation serves JC students and its communities and to show how easy giving can be for our alumni and friends.
Everything raised by the JCJC Foundation is invested back into the students, faculty, staff, and community in some way. Whether it’s education, professional development, or anything vital in carrying out our mission, the JCJC Foundation offers assistance. The “Day of Giving” is an opportunity for anyone to help Jones College continue to offer excellence in education and inspire another generation to share the vision Jones College established in 1911. Tax-deductible donations can be accepted online at https://www.jcjc.edu/alumni_foundation/giving-support/ or contact the Jones College Alumni and Foundation Office at 601-477-4145 for more information.
ELLISVILLE-Jones College’s Day of Giving on Tuesday, November 28, has been tied to the National Day of Giving tradition with some “Bow”tiful opportunities. In honor of and inspired by Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith, who enjoys wearing bow ties, the JCJC Foundation Inc. will be offering paper bow ties for $5 as a fun way to dress up the bronze Bobcat on the C.L. Neill Plaza and to participate in the college’s fourth annual Day of Giving.
“I really love this idea,” said JC freshman, Hannah Luker of Sumrall. “I think it shows how Dr. Smith is so awesome to us students and I think it’s a great idea. Scholarships are a great help for students, and I think giving back to the community is the best way we can help, so come and give!”
The first official “Day of Giving” at Jones College was in 2019, as an all-day event on campus to encourage faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends to help grow and continue the mission of the Jones College Foundation, Inc. As the event continues into its fourth year, VP of Advancement and JCJC Foundation coordinators believe the “Day of Giving” is even more important and is an opportunity to teach students about the importance of giving.
“Giving transcends generosity; it becomes a profound investment in the future of Jones College students and their communities. Whether large or small, your contribution matters. It fuels the engine of progress, nurtures potential, and lights the path for those striving for a better tomorrow,” shared Vice President of External Funding, Sabrina Young. “The ripple effect is profound because a scholarship can empower a student to break barriers, and educational resources can shape minds and create leaders. Collectively, our giving can build a foundation for a stronger, more vibrant community.”
Joining together as a Jones College community along with the JC family of friends and alumni, helps secure the non-profit Foundation’s mission of supporting the college as it continues to thrive. The main purpose of this concerted effort is to build awareness of how the Jones College Foundation serves JC students and its communities and to show how easy giving can be for our alumni and friends.
“The collective power of giving on this day serves as a catalyst for positivity, shaping the educational journey of Jones College students and fostering a community committed to their success. Together, we can make today a time of not just giving, but also of giving with purpose, and passion, with the shared belief that education has the power to change lives and build a brighter future for us all.
Everything raised by the JCJC Foundation is invested back into the students, faculty, staff, and community in some way. Whether it’s education, professional development, or anything vital in helping us carry out our mission, the JCJC Foundation offers assistance. Alumni and friends are usually the first sources for assistance and that’s why many university foundations utilize similar giving events to support both large and small needs within their community.
However, if you didn’t attend Jones College, many discover Jones touches their life in some way. Whether it’s through the Jones College students working in hospitals caring for patients during clinicals and as employees after graduation or the many other professionals who become teachers, business owners, pharmacists, musicians, welders, engineers, or inventors, Jones College touches communities throughout the U.S. and the world.
The “Day of Giving” is an opportunity for anyone to help Jones College continue to offer excellence in education and inspire another generation to share the vision Jones College established in 1911. Tax-deductible donations can be accepted online at https://www.jcjc.edu/alumni_foundation/day-of-giving/ on the JC Day of Giving on Tuesday, November 28, or by phone at 601-477-4145, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., or by stopping by the JC Alumni and Foundation Office in Jones Hall on the campus of Jones College in Ellisville.
To keep track of the progress and when we reach various goals, follow us on social media at Facebook-JCJC Alumni and Foundation, Instagram @jc_foundation_alumni/, Facebook-Jones College, and Jones College-Twitter. For more information contact the Jones College Alumni and Foundation Office at 601-477-4145.
ELLISVILLE – Jones College’s School of Art, Music, and Performance recently hosted the Hattiesburg Music Teachers League’s “Composer Festival” with about 300 students and guests in the audience for performances participating over the two-day event. On Friday, about 30 teachers attended guest composer and speaker, Kevin Olson’s sessions on topics such as, “Creativity Explosion” and “Teaching and Retaining the Gen Z Student.” The rest of the festival featured piano students from across the state performing compositions by a contemporary composer whom they also had the opportunity to meet in person.
Piano students from the studios of Laura Broughton, Joanna Burnside, Anne Kathryn DeViney, Marilyn Huff, Victoria Johnson, Elizabeth Moak, and Theresa Sanchez participated in the 40th annual Composer Festival. This was the first time Jones College hosted the event. Additionally, Jones College Visual Art instructors, Mark Brown and Melanie Eubanks judged a poster contest featuring the artwork of 18 students. Winning First Place was John Bridges from Hattiesburg with Second Place going to Hattiesburg’s Georgia Belknap and Claire Lin of Hattiesburg took Third Place. Receiving Honorable Mention were John Howell, Aiyana Li and Kahlan Nguyen, all of Hattiesburg.
ELLISVILLE – Jones College’s Student Publications and Student Affairs Office held the annual Most Beautiful Pageant on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, in the newly renovated M.P. Bush Fine Arts Building. This year, 32 contestants competed for the title, “Most Beautiful.”
Rylee Howse of Laurel was selected as the winner by a panel of judges as the 2023-2024 Jones College, “Most Beautiful.” Howse said she is honored to represent Jones College in this role.
“I am still in complete shock that I was crowned Most Beautiful,” Howse said. “There were 32 beautiful contestants, and I am filled with so much joy and gratitude to have been selected to represent this college.”
Other winners include First Alternate-Emma Grace Buckley of Stringer, Second Alternate-Molly Griffin of Ellisville, Third Alternate-Anna Bolivar of Laurel, and Fourth Alternate-Breanna Harrison of Laurel. Other contestants chosen in the Top 10 were Isabelle Halley of Laurel, Bailie Bishop of Laurel, Halle Myrick of Petal, Madeline Smith of Sumrall and Mary Taylor Jones of Collins.
Breanna Harrison was also voted as “The Audience’s Choice” winner and Bailie Bishop won both “Most Photogenic” and the Essay Contest.
Entertainment was provided by Jones OnStage with former Jones College Most Beautiful winner, Caidyn Crowder performing. The Spring 2023 Most Beautiful, Summer Boyd, returned to crown this fall’s Most Beautiful pageant winner.
This was the first year two Most Beautiful pageants were held within one year at JC. That decision was made by pageant director and Student Activities Director Emily Sullivan, along with the Student Affairs Office. Traditionally, the pageant has been held in the fall, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the contest to be held outdoors in the spring. The pageant continued to be held in the spring semester until last year. To differentiate between the two Most Beautiful winners, the fall winner is titled, 2023-2024 Most Beautiful.
The pageant serves as a fundraiser for the student publications department’s Madge Mailey JCJC Foundation Scholarship, and Student Affairs.
Photos and Story written by Jones College Student Publications