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In This Issue

       

Ed and Sue Jones hope their scholarship will help inspire and develop science educators

Sue and Ed Jones supported each other through six degrees at three separate universities.
Sue and Ed Jones supported each other through six degrees at three separate universities.

Ed and Sue Jones are great examples of people who want their philanthropic giving to reflect the values and passions they hold dear.

Both lifelong educators, they also were early advocates of the importance of teaching science and math to children at all grade levels. When they decided the time was right to make a significant philanthropic contribution to Wichita State, they chose to establish a scholarship for education majors who plan to become certified to teach science in middle or high school.

“We worked together to promote science and math education at all levels through professional presentations, publications, federal grants and teacher workshops,” says Ed. “We became a team professionally promoting hands-on science and mathematics.”

In 1991, the two were recognized with the School Science and Mathematics Association’s Mallinson Award for service to science and mathematics education nationally.

Now retired, they recall with great affection their years as students at Wichita State, Sue says. “We both graduated from WSU, and our interest in anything happening there has never gone away.”

As an active member of Beta Theta Pi from 1959 to 1961, Ed has fond memories of working on Hippodrome, homecoming, athletic events and events at the Campus Activities Center, the forerunner to the Rhatigan Student Center. He and Sue married in 1962 — “on the day of the largest snowfall in the history of the city,” he says — and decided they could afford for only one of them at a time to go to college.

“After marriage the focus became working, raising a family, associating with other WSU young marrieds and being close to some very dedicated professors,” Sue says. “We were married quite young but had high goals for our future. Through scholarships and graduate assistantships, Wichita State made it more possible to achieve those goals.”

Sue earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from WSU in 1965 and a doctorate from Kansas State University in 1977. Ed completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1968 and a master’s degree in science education in 1970, both from Wichita State. He received a doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 1974.

Both taught in Wichita-area schools in the 1960s and 1970s. Though he majored in chemistry, Ed felt a calling to teach it along with other areas of science. “Leadership and guidance from my professors in education, both before and after graduation, did more to develop my career than any other significant factors,” he says.

After obtaining their doctorates, Sue and Ed accepted job offers in 1979 with Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where they have lived since. “If an opportunity had been available for either of us at WSU, we probably would have remained in the state,” says Ed, a native of Wichita.

Sue grew up in North Dakota, the child of a single mother. Knowing first-hand the financial hardships single parents face, she and Ed have designated that applicants for the Ed and Sue Jones Science Education Scholarship/Fellowship be given extra consideration if they are single parents.

“Sue and Ed share a remarkable story of dedication to the power of education,” says Jessica Treadwell, WSU Foundation director of development for the College of Education. “They are giving back to Wichita State generously so that others can reap the benefits of a quality education like they did.”

The Joneses retired in 2004, Ed as a professor of science education at Miami University and Sue as director of state and federal programs for a large suburban school district in the Cincinnati area. They have two children and four grandchildren. Much of their free time is spent on their favorite hobby, fly-fishing.