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Catching up with Steve Jones

The man behind $7 million donation

It was announced at the beginning of March, that the honors college was going to receive $7 million from a Bloomsburg alumni (1983), Steve Jones.

“My wife and I wanted to have the biggest impact on the biggest number of students and that was through the honors college,” stated Jones.

He decided to name the honors college after his mother, making it the Eileen G. Jones Honors College. When most people are allowed to name buildings, they typically want to name them after themselves, but Jones had a different approach to this.

“I didn’t want to do that, it was not me, my mother was a big supporter of my education and made sure I was getting good grades throughout school, my mother had a very positive effect on my life,” said Jones.  

Jones is a first-generation college student and Bloomsburg was the only school that he applied to.

Erik Evans, the Vice President for Institutional Advancement here at Bloomsburg, stated “If there were an honors college here at the time, Steve would have been a part of it.”

Jones was involved in many activities here on campus during his time. He was a part of the first Greek fraternity, Sigma Iota Omega (SIO) at Bloomsburg and worked his way up to later on became the president. He was also involved in student government and studied abroad at a small university in Liverpool. Jones described his study abroad experience as transformative and an eye-opening experience. He wants part of this money to go towards new study abroad programs and make sure that it is affordable for students to go.

“It was at a smaller university, I was the only American kid and was getting called on to give the “American perspective” in class. I was amazed at how much it changed my perspective, it changed your viewpoint on the world.”

He emphasized the importance of studying abroad and shared how his experience gave him the confidence to travel around the world later in his life. By donating this large sum of money to the honors college, he wants students to utilize these opportunities, and one way that this can be done is through Professional Experience Grants (PEGs). These grants are given to high-achieving students by helping them pay for experiences like study abroad or internships.  This money is going to be spread around all three campuses and benefit all students apart of Commonwealth University.

“Being the smartest person in the room isn’t always everything, you have to have interpersonal skills as well, and having experiences like studying abroad can shape who you are and Bloomsburg is a great place to do that,” said Jones.

Jones is a prime example that hard work and taking advantage of the opportunities around you can lead you to bigger and better things in life. 



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