State and education leaders are remembering longtime state legislator and former higher education commissioner Stan Jones, who passed away Monday in Indianapolis. Governor Eric Holcomb calls Jones a leader who "transformed the state of higher education in Indiana."
The Purdue University graduate was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1974 at the age of 24. He held the seat for 16 years, before then-Governor Evan Bayh brought him in as a senior advisor. After five years in that post, he was appointed as Indiana’s fifth commissioner for higher education.
Jones spent 12 years at the commission, serving under governors from both parties. He played a major role in several landmark education policy initiatives, including the 21st Century Scholars program, aiming to help low-income students complete a post-secondary education. He is also known as a major contributor to the state’s community college system, Indiana’s Education Roundtable and outcomes-based funding for schools.
In 2009, he founded Complete College America, which aims to increase the number of Americans with a postsecondary degree or credential. The organization has grown to include 42 member states, including Indiana.
The family is asking those who want to honor Jones to consider contributing to the Complete College America Stan Jones Memorial Scholarship.
Statement from Governor Eric Holcomb:
Stan Jones was a leader in every sense, continuously striving to enhance the lives of Hoosiers and bettering the institutions that serve them. He transformed the state of Higher Education in Indiana and helped countless students here and across the nation complete their dream of going to college. He will be sorely missed.
Statement from Purdue President Mitch Daniels:
Indiana lost a great citizen, Purdue lost a great alum, and America lost a tireless advocate for education when Stan Jones passed away today. Among many contributions, Stan was early and active in the quest to improve completion and graduation rates, and higher education attainment. The best way to honor him is to continue our efforts on all those fronts.