Louisiana Couple UT Volunteers of the Year

KNOXVILLE — Donald and Florence Jones of Crowley, La., have been presented the University of Tennessee’s Volunteer of the Year Award.

The honor, highest given an alumnus or friend of UT, recognizes “untiring service and devotion to the university.” It will be presented by UT President J. Wade Gilley Tuesday evening at the Hyatt Regency here.

“Those of us in higher education wish we had many more friends and alumni like Don and Florence Jones,” Gilley said. “They are always there when you need them, and they usually volunteer before we ask for their help.

“There are no better representatives of the spirit of this award than the Joneses, and we particularly appreciate their efforts that help us retain our brightest students.”

Don Jones came to UT in 1948 from Crowley, La., where the couple lives today. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geological sciences at UT in 1950 and returned to Louisiana to marry Florence Sanders in 1951. They have two sons.

An independent geologist and investor in oil and gas properties, he was a founding partner of Shoreline Geophysics Services, an oil and gas production services firm, which he later sold. He also is involved in banking and financial services.

Don Jones was a charter member of the Board of Visitors for UT’s Department of Geological Sciences and has served on the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors. He was a co-chair for the College of Arts and Sciences’ 21st Century Campaign. He was presented a Citation for Extraordinary Service to UT in 1993.

The Joneses established two professorships in the geological sciences and the Florence Sanders Jones College Scholars Endowment, which supports juniors and seniors that develop unique fields of study by combining majors.

Florence Jones graduated from Southwestern Louisiana, where she served as president of the Women’s Student Government Association. She is active in several community organizations in Crowley and the State of Louisiana.