Scholarship honors donor’s late husband

Sandi Jones on a trip to Venice.
Sandi Jones on a trip to Venice.

A generous gift from the wife of a late alumnus means scholarships for students in the College of Business Administration in perpetuity.

Robert Bruce Jones ’47, ’52, passed away in 2015 at the age of 93.  A firm believer in the importance of education, Jones attended University of Detroit after he returned from service to his country in World War II.

“For him, education was really, really important,” said Sandi Jones, who established the Robert B. Jones Memorial Endowed Scholarship with annual gifts and a final, substantial gift that has been designated to the University in her estate planning.

The two met at Chrysler, where he was an engineer and director and she was the company’s first paralegal, she said. He was 26 years older than she was, but they hit it off and were married in 1990; it was her second marriage and his first.

“Bob was a chief engineer at Chrysler, but I think what he was more known for was their Management Club,” Jones said. It was an organization that encouraged Chrysler employees to interact outside of work and develop continuing education skills.

“One day someone asked Bob if he wanted to put together a trip for members of the Management Club,” she said. “And for the next 46 years he organized two trips a year for the members of the club. It’s because of him I’ve visited 70 countries.”

At his funeral in 2015, that sentiment was echoed by many of the mourners: “We’ve seen so much of the world,” Jones said they told her, “and it’s all because of Bob.”

Her own educational experience — with Macomb Community College’s legal assistant program — led her to establish a scholarship there, too.

“I did not have a traditional college experience,” Jones said. “I had to work when I went to school and I know a lot of people have to do that.”

Her scholarship there is for students who are U.S. veterans. It was set up in part to remember her late husband, her father, uncles and brother, all veterans of the armed services.

She says she believes her husband would be pleased with the scholarships. She is, too.

“I’m blessed to be able to do this,” Jones said.

Anyone can establish an endowed scholarship in honor of a loved one. You can also contribute to any scholarship fund already established. For more information, please contact the Office of University Advancement at 313-993-1250.

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