Virginia Western Community College announces that Forest G. Jones has been honored with the State Board for Community Colleges’ 2015 Chairman’s Award for College Board Member Exemplary Service. Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, presented the award to Jones at a recent system-wide retreat in Roanoke. Jones is currently the Immediate Past Chairman of the Virginia Western Community College Local Advisory Board, which he joined in 2008 and which he chaired from 2012-14.
“Forest has made a tremendous impact on Virginia Western and our students’ lives during his service on the Virginia Western Community College Local Advisory Board,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “Among his numerous achievements, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Community College Access Program (CCAP) in Salem City.”
Jones’ support and dedication to CCAP grew from his career in education and public service in Salem. He began as a math teacher and coach in Campbell County Public Schools, and also served the school system as a principal and assistant principal before becoming Director of Administrative Services for Salem City Public Schools from 1982-1987. Jones served as Salem’s Assistant City Manager from 1987-2000 and as City Manager from 2000-2008.
CCAP, which provides tuition funding at Virginia Western for up to two years for area high school graduates who meet program requirements, began with Salem High School in 2008. Since that time, with the assistance of Jones and the Local Advisory Board, the Virginia Western Educational Foundation and its Board of Directors has expanded CCAP to cover all of Virginia Western’s service region.
“Mr. Jones’ support translated into providing students with the opportunity to attend Virginia Western tuition-free,” said J. Kenneth Randolph, President of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation’s Board of Directors. “CCAP served, in 2014 alone, approximately 464 full-time students. The Educational Foundation in December of 2014 received over $5 million for CCAP alone.”
In addition to CCAP, Jones supported the construction of what is now recognized as The Horace G. and Anne H. Fralin Center for Science and Health Professions and the newly renovated Student Life Center. He advocated for the health professions as the primary employment and economic driver for the Roanoke region and the Student Life Center as a hub for student life, engagement, and in turn, retention.
“I know Mr. Jones to be a highly intelligent, talented, dedicated, and kind individual who is committed to the growth and economic development of the Roanoke region,” said Gerald Burgess, Chairman of the Local Advisory Board. “Mr. Jones is convinced that Virginia Western is the primary economic driver for the region. Through participation in numerous local and statewide Boards, Mr. Jones increased awareness of the mission of Virginia’s Community Colleges as economic engines and mobilized the College’s mission as such.”
After many years of working with Jones in Salem and on the Local Advisory Board, James W. McAden, President of Balzer and Associates and Past President of the Salem Rotary Club said, “As an exemplary leader, Mr. Jones strongly believed that the Board members maintained the responsibility to represent the College in the form of ambassadors throughout the College’s service district.”
Completing post-graduate work at Virginia Tech in Administration and additional graduate work at the University of Virginia and William & Mary College, Jones received his Bachelor’s in Math from Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. and Master’s in Math and Science from Randolph College in Lynchburg.
Married to Betty C. Jones, a retired reading teacher at South Salem Elementary School, for 41 years, Jones is the father of Forest Jones Jr., the principal at Andrew Lewis Middle School and Anton Jones, a teacher at Salem High School.