Today we are honoring a graduate who has served Bob Jones University in a number of capacities for 20 years—our current president, Dr. Stephen Jones. He earned three degrees from BJU—a bachelor’s degree in public speaking, a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Philosophy in Liberal Arts.
As the spiritual leader on campus, Dr. Jones challenged students in their walk with Christ and instituted annual chapel themes beginning with 2007’s “Walking Together in Love.” Recognizing the primacy of the local church, he encouraged students, faculty and staff to take an active part in a local church in the Greenville area. He inspired faculty and staff to get involved with prayer groups in the residence halls and make a difference in the lives of students. However, his most lasting spiritual legacy as president is his emphasis on and integration of “dirty-handed discipleship” in all aspects of the student experience—in the classroom, in the dining common, in the residence halls.
As the academic leader, Dr. Jones encouraged the completion of the TRACS accreditation and the majority of preparations for the application for regional accreditation as well as the launching of BJUOnline and summer orientation. During his tenure, the academic team reviewed and updated the “BJU Core”—strengthening the solid liberal arts education based on a biblical worldview and launching the Excellence in Teaching initiative in 2009—beginning with our science faculty and now encompassing all academic disciplines. Under his leadership, we also saw the consolidation of our K through 12 programs into Bob Jones Academy.
As a visionary leader, Dr. Jones initiated BJU’s new visual identity and paved the way for the introduction of the brand tagline “Build Faith. Challenge Potential. Follow Christ.” With his encouragement, faculty, staff and students have significantly increased their involvement in the community.
He also added or improved numerous facilities: the parking garage, the front entrance, Cuppa Jones, Rodeheaver Auditorium lobby, the Welcome Center, the Science Building and perhaps the best renovation of all—the Kalmbach Room in the dining common—which has provided students not only a wider variety of foods but has also fostered an atmosphere which encourages the university family to disciple and mentor others.Through it all, Dr. Jones has been a humble, God-loving and others-focused leader for BJU. As a husband, father and college president, he has demonstrated his love for his family and his extended family of thousands of BJU students, faculty, staff and graduates serving Jesus Christ around the globe. In recognition of his steadfast, faithful service and achievement in the calling of God, the Alumni Association Executive Committee is pleased to present this Alumnus of the Year Award to Dr. Stephen B. Jones.