Donor Issues Challenge to Fund RSU Cultural and Study Abroad Programs

An endowment that will expand internship, cultural immersion and study abroad opportunities at Rogers State University, named in honor of former Ambassador and U.S. Congressman James R. Jones, has been established through the RSU Foundation.

The Ambassador James R. Jones Endowment in International Studies was announced following Jones’ presentation on “Diversity and Culture in Global Business.” Jones is an internationally recognized business strategist. He is the most recent lecturer to visit the campus as part of The Maurice Meyer Distinguished Endowed Lectureship on the RSU campus established in 1999.

The endowment, honoring Jones, was initiated by an anonymous gift of $25,000. The anonymous donor also issued a challenge to the university to raise an additional $50,000, at which time the donor will provide another $25,000, bringing the total of the endowment to $100,000, according to Dr. Danette Boyle, RSU vice president for development.

Jones was 28 when he joined President Lyndon Johnson’s White House staff as Appointments Secretary, the position presently entitled Chief of Staff. He was the youngest person in history to hold this position. He served 15 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oklahoma and was a ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Jones served as chairman and CEO of the American Stock Exchange (1989-1993). He was U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (1993-1997) and has been recognized for his leadership during the Mexican peso crisis, the passage and implementation of NAFTA and in developing new, cooperative efforts to combat drug trafficking.

Since becoming a four-year regional university in 2000, RSU has expanded programs that provide study abroad and cultural immersion opportunities for the growing student enrollment. Through the Washington Center Internship Program, RSU students complete semester-long internships with private, public and non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C.

Other programs include The Summer Art Program in Montone, Italy, where students study the art, architecture and history of Italy, as well as create their own works of art; the Summer Bioethics Program in South Korea, a program offered jointly by RSU and Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea; and the Brad Henry International Scholar Semester of Study Abroad at the Swansea University in Wales.

RSU also offers cultural immersion programs in London, New York and Chicago. Through these programs, students tour museums and historical sites, and are exposed to a variety of cultural opportunities while earning course credit.

For additional information or to make a contributions to the endowment honoring Jones, contact the Rogers State University Foundation at 343-7773, or make checks payable to the RSU Foundation, c/o The James R. Jones Endowment in International Studies, and mail to the RSU Foundation, 1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore, Okla., 74017.