Nancy Jones, the wife of George Jones, announced Monday that her family has established a scholarship fund at Middle Tennessee State University with the hope that it will become a living memorial to the country legend. Nancy made the announcement at a ceremony in Nashville to unveil a monument erected in honor of George Jones, who passed away April 26 at the age of 81.
“George would have liked the fact that MTSU attracts so many first-generation college students, as well as students who face financial challenges,” Nancy said. “Like George, they are hard-working folks who are determined to make their dreams a reality.”
“MTSU is a very appropriate place to honor George Jones because of its nationally known recording industry program,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said. “We have educated many of the leaders of the country music industry and we are dedicated to teaching students about the important contributions of country music.”
MTSU’s College of Mass Communications, which houses the school’s Recording Industry Department and the Center for Popular Music, is working to preserve and promote the legacy of George Jones. “George Jones had an extraordinary life and career on so many levels and we are grateful that his legacy will inspire and benefit a new generation through education,” said Mass Communication Dean Ken Paulson.
The department is also developing a course on the life and music of Jones and will create opportunities for students to analyze and interpret his music. “We want to make sure that students 100 years from now will fall in love with ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today,’ just as we did, no matter what future technology they may use to listen to his traditional country music,” Recording Industry Department Chair Beverly Keel said.
Nancy said her husband would have been pleased to have students benefit from this effort in his name. “George received help from people as he strove to have a country music career, so I am thrilled that we will be able to help young people in the name of George Jones,” she said. “I know he would have loved this.”
Donations to the fund can be made online at www.MTSU.edu/give or by mail at George Jones Scholarship Fund, MTSU, Office of Development, Box 109, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. For more information, call 615-898-5595 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.