January 13, 2015
On Campus

American Studies Scholarship

Late Professor Emerita of English Mary Ellen Jones Endows Scholarship

Springfield, Ohio – The late Professor Emerita of English Mary Ellen Jones always wanted students to appreciate the breadth and depth of the American experience. Her classes took students back to life on the American frontier, explored Steinbeck and the California scene, and examined the novels of social significance, just to name a few subjects, while her passion shaped many a mind. Her love of her field also inspired her to leave a legacy for future Wittenberg students through the creation of an endowed scholarship in her name.

Mary Ellen Jones“Wittenberg is deeply grateful for Mary Ellen Jones’ willingness to establish such a scholarship,” said Randy Green, executive director of financial aid. “When professors leave such a legacy, they are creating lasting pathways designed to help future generations follow in their footsteps.”

“Mary Ellen celebrated heroism of every kind, whether that was the physical bravery of soldiers or the moral integrity of people who fought the good fight,” added Robin Inboden, professor of English, longtime colleague and friend of Jones. “She loved putting her students in touch with real experiences, too, whether that was sending her classes to the Fair at New Boston to learn about frontier life or arranging for her students to interview veterans and write oral histories of their service. She was one of a kind.”

Jones’ gift of just over $500,000 will provide financial assistance to deserving students at Wittenberg with preference given to students having an interest in American Studies or to American Studies majors or minors. Should the American Studies program evolve into a different program or change at any time, preference will then be given to English majors and minors.

A native of McKeesport, Pa., Jones joined the Wittenberg community in 1965, where she would spend the next 44 years teaching generations of students to appreciate American culture and literature. In addition to authoring two books and editing several others, Jones also raised and showed German shepherd dogs and loved college basketball. Moreover, following a year teaching in Greece on a Fulbright grant, she was recognized with a commendation from the U.S. Naval Attache, U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, for her liaison work between the Sixth Fleet and the people of Corfu. Jones earned her B.A. and M.A. from Duke University and her Ph.D. from Union Graduate School. She passed away in August 2012.

A nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wittenberg University has repeatedly been ranked throughout the years by the Princeton Review for the quality of its teaching and faculty, including 11th in the nation for “Best Classroom Experience” and 15th in the category “Professors Get High Marks” in the 2011 edition of Princeton’s annual Best Colleges guide. Most recently, Wittenberg earned the No. 4 spot in the category of “Most Accessible Professors.” Additionally, Wittenberg currently has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year institution in the state, and has been recognized nationally for excellence in service and athletics.

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About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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