May 17, 2013: The lawn at the Wright Health Sciences Center at Columbus Technical College was packed with well-wishers on Friday, May 17 for a grand send-off event for retiring college President Bob Jones. Community leaders, elected officials, friends, family, co-workers, and even members of the State system office came to President Jones’ stomping ground to shake his hand and say good luck. The casual retirement party incorporated a nautical theme; Bob Jones is a big boats-man who looks forward to navigating plenty of friendly seas when his retirement is official on July 1, 2013. After dining on a barbecue lunch with all the fixin’s, including several desserts, a brief program was held featuring representatives from the Columbus Technical College Foundation, College Vice-Presidents, the College’s Local Board, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and the Local Delegation.
State Senator Ed Harbison recalled working in the trenches with President Jones and called him a man you can trust and one who “doesn’t give up very easily!” The Senator was referring to the repeated efforts by Jones to secure State funding for Columbus Technical College.
Vice-Chair of Columbus Technical College Foundation, Inc., Jean Hartin, and Columbus Tech Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Linn Storey, surprised Mr. Jones with a Student Support grant named in his honor. The grant provides seed money in the amount of $25,000 from existing reserve funds. Disbursements may begin in Fall semester of 2013.
The most emotional part of the program came when 88-year-old lead custodian for Columbus Technical College, Charles “Mr. Mac” McCaulley, approached the stage and presented President Jones with a heartfelt hug and a fishing pole so he could “drown some worms in his spare time.”
Bob Jones has been president of Columbus Tech for 15 years and was instrumental in seeing the physical growth of the college’s campus as well as increasing student enrollment from less than 2,000 per year to more than 6,000. A successor for President Jones is scheduled to be announced at the next State Board meeting of the Technical College System of Georgia.