$2.5 Million Gift Marks Continued Upswing for Agnes Scott

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Agnes Scott College has received its second largest gift ever from a living donor. Elizabeth “Libby” Rhett Jones, Agnes Scott class of 1973, and her husband, Gary T. Jones, have pledged $2.5 million to the college.
“Agnes Scott is profoundly grateful for the remarkable generosity of Libby and Gary Jones,” said Agnes Scott President Elizabeth Kiss. “Their gift is a wonderful investment in the college’s future. Libby’s energetic commitment to her alma mater is inspiring, and I am thrilled to be working with her as one of the leaders of our national campaign.”

The Jones’ gift is the latest in a string of recent successes for Agnes Scott. The college raised more than $8 million in new gifts and pledges during the past fiscal year, ending June 30. It was the college’s best fundraising year since 2004 at a time when many colleges continue to raise significantly less than they did before the recession. Agnes Scott also had one of its largest first-year classes ever in fall 2009 and expects record first-year enrollment this fall.

Jones said she and her husband were motivated to give to the college because they feel strongly that Agnes Scott is poised to become a nationally recognized leader among liberal arts colleges and that Kiss is the right leader to take the college to the next level.

“It’s time. Sometimes an institution has to recognize when all the pieces are fitting together for the next big push,” said Libby Jones, an attorney. “With Elizabeth Kiss’ vision and the enthusiasm she generates in others, we want to give her every chance to enable that vision. Her goals for Agnes Scott are amazing, ambitious and achievable.”

Jones received her master’s degree in psychoeducational disabilities and reading from New York University in 1976 and her Juris Doctorate in 1995 from Seton Hall University School of Law. She was elected to the Agnes Scott College Board of Trustees in 2004 and is a co-chair of the college’s comprehensive campaign, currently in its silent phase. Jones has served as an in-house pro bono attorney with Legal Services of Northwest Jersey. She also served in the same capacity with New Jersey Crime Victims Law Center and as an associate with Strasser law firm. In recognition of her extraordinary work, Jones received the Equal Justice Award in 2004 from Legal Services of New Jersey for her efforts to help secure greater justice for disadvantaged people.

Before becoming an attorney, Jones was a teacher, tutor and reading specialist for learning-disabled children. An active volunteer, she has been president of a parent-teacher organization and a trustee of an education board. Jones also serves on the board of the John and Mary Franklin Foundation.

Gary Jones recently retired after more than 30 years on Wall Street as senior managing director at Credit Suisse First Boston. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his M.B.A. from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Jones is a professor of the practice at Georgia Tech and teaches a course for M.B.A. candidates and upperclassmen on the management of financial institutions.

“Women’s colleges are more relevant than ever as more women attain leadership in their careers,” Libby Jones said. “And women’s colleges like Agnes Scott are uniquely equipped to focus on fostering the leadership qualities of young women.”

“Agnes Scott has always empowered women, but I think it’s more important now than ever. Women are taking a more involved role in our world, and I think it’s crucial that Agnes Scott stay at the forefront of education to help educate women to take active and responsible positions in our world,” Jones added.|

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.