The Trinity Reporter Winter 2005
James F. Jones, Jr. inaugurated as Trinity College president

The inauguration was preceded by a colorful academic procession, including Trinity faculty members and more than 85 delegates from other colleges and universities, and a welcoming address by former Trinity Trustee William C. Richardson '62, also president emeritus of Johns Hopkins University and president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. Following greetings from parent, student, faculty, and alumni / ae representatives, City of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez' 96 welcomed Jones and his wife, Jan, to Hartford, and wished them much success.

Photographs by Al Ferreira

  James F. Jones, Jr. was inaugurated on October 17, 2004

James F. Jones, Jr. was inaugurated on October 17, 2004, as Trinity's 21st president. More than 1,500 alumni, students, and guests gathered to celebrate the occasion, during which Jones accepted a warm welcome from dignitaries, distinguished alumni/ ae, and educators. In a speech entitled, "Of Schools on Hills Aegean, Irish, and Otherwise," Jones shared his views on the past, present, and future state of higher learning and the importance of liberal arts education. (full text to follow.)

Wellesley College President Diana Chapman Walsh and Harvard University Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, William C Kirby represented the delegates of colleges and universities in attendance and offered Jones greetings from academia. President of Williams College, Morton Owen Schapiro, presented greetings from the NESCAC institutions.

Presiding over the investiture of the new president was Board of Trustees Chairman Paul E. Raether '68 P'93, '96, '01. During this ceremony, Jones was presented with the symbols of the Office of President—an integral part of the Trinity College inauguration. As the new president, Jones received the four traditional symbols of the Trinity presidency, the Mace, Book, Key, and Presidential Collar. The Owen Morgan Mace stands for the president's executive power; it is made of ebony, signifying endurance; bronze, meaning power; and gold, symbolizing dignity and glory. The Book has been placed in the hands of every Trinity graduate at Commencement since 1827 and signifies the delegation of responsibility to the president for maintaining the educational activities for which Trinity was founded. The Key, which symbolizes the turning over of the physical properties of the College to the president, is made of bronze and is one of the keys that turned the original huge lock in the door of Williams Memorial, the current administration building at the College. The Presidential Collar, which is worn on ceremonial occasions, is the visible symbol of the president's high office and authority. The chain symbolically links modern higher education with the ancient academy. Among the symbols on the Presidential Collar are the Book and a pair of student's hands extended to receive it—symbolizing the desire of youth to receive an education.

Jones came to Trinity from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he served as president and professor in the humanities, At Kalamazoo, Jones successfully led the movement to reposition the College to play a pivotal role in the local community while winning extensive external support from prominent national foundations. He also implemented the development of a strategic plan for Kalamazoo, focusing primarily on strengthening the faculty, improving information technology on campus, and renovating the residence and dining halls.

Prior to joining Kalamazoo College, Jones was with Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, as professor of the humanities, dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and vice provost of the University (1991-1996). A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jones is a graduate of the University of Virginia (B,A., cum laude), Emory University (M,A.), and Columbia University (M. Phil.) (Ph,D.), and holds a Certificat, Degré Avancé, from the Ecole des Professeurs de Français à l'Etranger, the Sorbonne. His publications include Rousseau's Dialogues: An Interpretive Essay, The Story of a Fair Greek of Yesteryear, a translation into English of L'Histoire d'une Grecque moderne by Antoine-François Prévost, and Nouvelle Héloïse: Rousseau and Utopia, along with more than two dozen scholarly articles.

The Inaugural Address of President James F. Jones, Jr., October 17, 2004


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