Larry Jones began working at the Coleman Company as an invoice audit clerk while attending Wichita University where he was student council president. Graduating cum laude from WU in 1953 with a degree in business administration, he earned his master’s in 1955 from the Harvard University School of Business. Teaching at Harvard for one year, he returned to Coleman as assistant to the president before joining the WU business faculty, where he chaired the Department of Business. In 1960, he earned his doctorate in business management from Harvard. He would return to Coleman as corporate treasurer in 1964, advancing to senior vice president and general manager of Outdoor Products and become president in 1971. A Distinguished Professor of Management at WSU, Dr. Jones was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents. By 1989, he was Coleman s president and chief executive, serving on the boards of directors for Cessna, Union Pacific and the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce.
Anita Jones graduated magna cum laude in 1953 from the WU College of Education with a degree in English language and literature. A senior honor woman, she and Larry were married shortly after graduation. A longtime supporter of WSU School of Music, Mrs. Jones served on the boards for the Wichita Symphony, Wichita Center for the Arts, WSU Fine Arts Advisory Council and the Alumni Association. In 1992, she was named a Woman of Distinction by the Wichita Area Girl Scouts Council.
Both Society of 1895 Charter Members and the recipients of the Fairmount Founders Award in 1992, they established the Anita and Larry Jones Scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1993. Their love and commitment to WSU is eminent through their generous support of students, faculty and higher education.