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Alumnus establishes scholarship to encourage aspiring teachers

Alumnus Bill Jones, his son Will, Juanita "Nita" Tidwell Jones and his son Matthew (left to right.)
Alumnus Bill Jones, his son Will, Juanita "Nita" Tidwell Jones and his son Matthew (left to right.)

Some Georgia College students pursuing a teaching career will have an easier time affording their higher education because of Foundation Trustee Bill Jones, ’86, and his scholarship opportunity.

Jones established the Juanita Tidwell Jones Endowed Scholarship in memory of his mother Nita, who was raised by her three aunts. Two of them spent more than 50 years each teaching. Throughout her childhood, Nita’s aunts’ educational guidance didn’t go unnoticed. It was during tutoring in college that Nita became aware of her passion for education. Upon graduating from the University of Georgia, she married and devoted herself to her family, becoming more involved in her children’s activities. She served as the hospital homebound teacher for Franklin County for several years engaging students based on their needs and interests. In 2008, she was named as one of the top five of Franklin County’s 50 Remarkable Women of Education.

“My mom was a very selfless woman,” said Jones. “She touched so many lives during her 30-plus years of teaching. Especially when she became a hospital homebound teacher where she tailored her teaching to meet her students’ needs and interests.”

Jones explains that the scholarship in the John H. Lounsbury College of Education in memory of his mother was only fitting. He also stressed the importance of teachers.

“Teachers are so influential in our mental development,” said Jones. “There are talented individuals in today’s world that want to have the opportunity to make a difference in society through teaching, but the financial strain in obtaining a college education prevents them from making their dream become a reality. I just wanted to help ease some of their financial stress.”


Alumnus Bill Jones (right) with Georgia College President Dr. Steve Dorman.
Alumnus Bill Jones (right) with Georgia College President Dr. Steve Dorman.

In addition to serving as the regional president of Magnolia State Bank, Jones continues to allocate his time and efforts to civic duties. He serves as a Georgia College Foundation Trustee and was a chairman of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce. Jones describes what his community stewardship means to him.

“Becoming more actively involved within my community has allowed me to realize the great assets that Milledgeville/Baldwin County has to offer,” said Jones.  “It has allowed me the opportunity to help work toward leveraging our assets to increase economic development and quality of life.”

As the scholarship recipients advance in their careers, the spirit of serving the greater good is something Jones would like to see endure. Ultimately, he envisions scholarship recipients to obtain successful and fulfilling careers using their talents and education to help others thrive, including serving in leadership roles within their communities.

“Georgia College is an excellent university with very bright and talented students,” said Jones. “I feel that a scholarship gift to Georgia College will be a good return on my investment.”

The Juanita Tidwell Jones Endowed Scholarship is part of a matching grant for the university’s 125th Anniversary Scholarship Campaign where endowed scholarships are matched from $10,000 to $25,000.

To learn more, visit the 125 Scholarship Campaign website here.

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