2013 ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards


Stan Jones


President Complete College America

SEEKING A UNIVERSITY FAR ENOUGH AWAY—but not too far—from his Cincinnati home, Stan Jones enrolled at Purdue because of its excellent reputation and his own interest in math and science. Interdisciplinary Engineering was just being formed as an academic division at that time, and with Dr. Dick Grace as his advisor, Jones charted his own path as an engineering management major, combining a strong engineering background with courses that provided leadership skills.
He had ample opportunity to practice those skills as a college student. He served as president of Sigma Chi fraternity and as Purdue student body president during, he says, “interesting times” that saw the end of the Vietnam War, the beginning of Earth Day and the environmental movement, and an increasing emphasis on women’s issues. He was active in voter registration drives and, after graduation, continued his political engagement by serving for 16 years in the Indiana House of Representatives, representing the district that included Purdue.
Jones went on to serve Indiana governor Evan Bayh as legislative director and policy director, then served for 13 years as Indiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education. In that role, he was a primary architect of several land- mark education policy initiatives, including the 21st Century Scholars program; the development of Indiana’s new community college system; the creation of Indiana’s Education Roundtable; and the implementation of Core 40, a college prep curriculum.
In 2009, Jones founded Complete College America, a network of states devoted to helping governors, state legislators, educators, and campus administrators enable more students to finish college. Currently, 32 states have joined Complete College America’s Alliance of States. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and others, the organization collects and analyzes data, analyzes best practices, and shares information
to ensure that new programs and policies build on the best knowledge of what works in higher education.