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K-State News
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Hometown connection: Simpson and Wichita, Kan.
News release prepared by: Andrew Zender, 785-532-7648, andrewz@found.ksu.edu

Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

Shortening the to-do list: Wichita alum's gift modernizing longtime geology lab

MANHATTAN -- It's not every day that you hear someone's bucket list includes a major gift to a university. But in the case of George Jones, Wichita, a gift to Kansas State University was a top priority — and his contribution of $100,000 to the university's department of geology is helping renovate a 50-year-old laboratory space into a modern geochemistry teaching lab.

A native of Simpson, Jones graduated from Kansas State University's College of Arts and Sciences in 1948, at which time he found himself vying for his first job as a geologist at Standard Oil alongside graduates from Ivy League schools. He credits the education, skills and knowledge he gained at Kansas State University with giving him the competitive edge needed to begin his career, which has taken him from Venezuela to Texas to Kansas.

"When I was getting started in my career, I was competing for jobs against students from very prestigious universities," Jones said. "Because of the success I've had, I've always wanted to give back to Kansas State University."

"This not only reinforces our determination to educate Kansas students for productive careers, but will advance our ability to attract the best new faculty to Kansas State University to sustain that mission," said George Clark, professor and interim head of the department of geology. "The George Jones Geochemistry Teaching Laboratory will serve to remind our students of our long-standing tradition of excellence in career education."

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.