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Professor Emeritus Harold Jones Encourages Student, Faculty Discovery through Gifts to Forever Orange Campaign
“Think globally, act locally.” It’s a concept that Harold Jones, professor emeritus of Spanish, and his wife, Barbara, have put into practice over their nearly 53 years of marriage. Together, they’ve worked to make a global impact through their giving in the local community, including Syracuse University.
As a former faculty member, Harold Jones is an advocate of the University’s largest-ever fundraising effort, Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University. The campaign is in line with his specific goals of promoting academic excellence and research enhancements to encourage student and faculty discovery.
“I want to see the University continue to thrive,” Jones says. “Significant ongoing giving from a broad spectrum of supporters will be necessary for us to maintain our momentum and attain our potential.”
For many years, Jones championed the University through service. He came to Syracuse in 1988 as chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He was chair for nine years and professor of Spanish for 23 years. He also taught courses in virtual reality and postmodern reading for the Renée Crown University Honors Program. In 2005, he was the founding faculty member of the Winston Fisher Seminar course on Business and the Liberal Arts. After retirement, he turned his attention to philanthropy.
“Giving is engaging and rewarding and provides me with a reason to get up in the morning,” he says. “It lets me meet interesting and delightful people who are committed to doing good.”
To further the University’s goal of world-class teaching, Jones has established three endowments for faculty in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. Advancing faculty through endowed funds helps Syracuse University prioritize support for teaching and research.
The $175,000 Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics Research Achievement Award Endowed Fund rewards faculty based on an exceptional research paper published within the past five years.
Jones also contributed $175,000 to the Gerlinde Ulm Sanford Award, which selects faculty recipients based on outstanding contributions to the department in the spirit of those made by former department chair and professor of German Gerlinde Ulm Sanford during her lifetime.
The third endowment for $160,000 supports Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures, which has been published by Syracuse University since the 1940s. The journal awards a cash prize for the best articles published by senior faculty, junior faculty and graduate students around the world. The endowment has also allowed the journal to broaden its scope to sponsor seminars and conferences.
“In both his professional career and personal life, Harold embodies the civic-minded and humanistic ideals of the liberal arts,” says Karin Ruhlandt, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and distinguished professor of chemistry. “Time and again, he has generously supported the College to ensure that the strength and vitality of our scholarship connects and enriches our campus community and the world. Harold and Barbara truly live their values—and in doing so they are beacons of light and inspiration for this and future generations. I am grateful to know them.”
In support of Syracuse University’s commitment to student research, Jones has made many contributions highlighting his love for the arts. He donated $150,000 to the Steinway Campaign in pursuit of the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music’s goal of becoming an All-Steinway School, which would place it in the top 150 music schools and conservatories in the world. His contribution enabled the purchase of a new Steinway concert grand piano for students.
“Harold has been a dedicated member of our campus community for over three decades,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “His generosity and passion will continue to positively impact the lives of our students for many more decades to come.”
Jones has also found many ways for his love of books to benefit the Syracuse University Libraries. He has donated a major collection of rare Hispanic books valued at $270,000 to the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) in Bird Library.
He was curator of the 2016 exhibition “Avida Dollars: Salvador Dalí, Joseph Forêt and the Three Most Expensive Books in the World,” hosted by the SCRC, and the Libraries created the Harold Jones Collection of Salvador Dalí and Joseph Forêt. To support the Forever Orange campaign, Jones plans to make a considerable addition to this archive next year.
“The Libraries is extremely grateful to Harold and Barbara Jones for their generosity to the Special Collections Research Center. Gifts like these enable scholars and students to gain experience with rare and valuable primary source materials,” says David Seaman, dean of the Libraries and University librarian.
Jones has seen firsthand the important work Syracuse University is doing and how gifts can make an impact on faculty and students. On the topic of giving, he quotes Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”: “The gratification of wealth is not found in mere possession or in lavish expenditure, but in its wise application.”
As Jones pursues his philanthropic endeavors, with his wife as his beloved partner, he keeps in mind the global significance that contributions to Syracuse University can make—today and in the future.
“Syracuse University is a complex institution, so anyone should be able to find one or more elements of the University to bond with,” he says. “Contributions can foster your personal interests, the University in general, and global education as a foundation of civilization.
“Considering the challenges the world faces today, the survival of civilization and a supportive environment could well depend on us. May we choose Cervantes’ ‘wise application’ of wealth over the next few decades and beyond.”
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private, international research university with distinctive academics, diversely unique offerings and an undeniable spirit. Located in the geographic heart of New York state, with a global footprint and nearly 150 years of history, Syracuse University offers a quintessential college experience, as well as innovative online learning environments. The scope of Syracuse University is a testament to its strengths. At Syracuse University, we offer a choice of more than 200 majors and 100 minors offered through 13 schools and colleges and 18 online degree programs. We have more than 15,000 undergraduates and 7,500 graduate students, more than a quarter of a million alumni in 160 countries and a student population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. For more information, visit syracuse.edu.
About Forever Orange
Orange isn’t just our color. It’s our promise to leave the world better than we found it. Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University is poised to do just that. Fueled by 150 years of fearless firsts, together we can enhance academic excellence, transform the student experience and expand unique opportunities for learning and growth. Forever Orange endeavors to raise $1.5 billion in philanthropic support, inspire 125,000 individual donors to participate in the campaign, and actively engage one in five alumni in the life of the University. Now is the time to show the world what Orange can do. Visit syracuse.edu/foreverorange to learn more.