Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones ’82 and his wife Fern Jones are personally doing their part to develop transformational leaders by stepping up to endow a $50,000 gift to Mays Business School.
The endowment will provide scholarships to full-time students pursuing an undergraduate degree in marketing who are also pursuing the Professional Selling and Sales Management career track.
“Fern and I are giving back to support students interested in a career in professional selling, a career that blessed me immensely when I was in corporate America,” said Eli Jones. “Sales is at the core of every business discipline, so we are pleased to bolster that aspect of the educational offerings here at Mays. This field also aligns with our vision at Mays to advance the world’s prosperity by creating impactful knowledge and developing transformational leaders.”
Since 2015, Jones has served Texas A&M as a marketing professor, dean, and the Lowry and Peggy Mays Eminent Scholar. His association with the university, which spans four decades, includes three degrees from Texas A&M: a bachelor’s in journalism, an MBA and a doctorate in marketing.
Throughout his career, Jones has inspired many students to pursue the sales and marketing profession. In 2016, the American Marketing Association’s Sales and Sales Management Special Interest Group recognized his dedication to the profession with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an outstanding scholar who has made meaningful contributions to the field of sales through publications in top journals, teaching excellence, fostering professional development and contributing to sales scholarship.
Jones’ contribution to the academic sales community is far-reaching. As a faculty member and dean, he added to the faculty support for the new Professional Selling Initiative at Mays, which helps students pursuing a sales career realize their full salary and professional growth potential. The program also benefits companies recruiting Mays’ graduates for professional selling jobs in both consumer and business-to-business settings. Companies have access to students who will receive enhanced sales education, including expanded course offerings and high-impact learning experiences outside the classroom.
In the classroom, Jones teaches strategic selling, advanced professional selling, key accounts selling, sales leadership and marketing strategy at the undergraduate and MBA levels, and a Ph.D. seminar on marketing strategy. He has received Excellence in Teaching awards on the university, national and international levels. Before becoming a professor, Jones worked in sales and sales management for three Fortune 100 companies. He and his wife Fern are co-authors of Selling ASAP, a highly regarded professional selling book.
Terry W. Loe, a marketing professor at Kennesaw State University and co-director of its Center for Professional Selling, calls Jones “one of the most influential leaders in the sales discipline over the past 20 years.” Loe is founder and executive director of the National Collegiate Sale Competition – the first university sales competition – to which he said Jones has donated financial and personal resources. “I am personally very grateful for all he has done for the thousands of students that have been through university sales programs around the country,” Loe said. “The sales discipline would not be where it is today without Eli Jones. He pioneered one of the first university sales programs in the U.S.”
With developing business leaders in mind, Jones is targeting a key area for fundraising efforts in the university-wide capital campaign Lead by Example: transformational teaching and learning. The Joneses want to be an example for other leaders who may wish to support higher education through an endowed gift to support a program for which they are passionate. “It adds permanent funding and truly transforms lives for generations to come,” Jones said. “Texas A&M is blessed to have many donors who feel the same way.”
The endowment funded by Fern and Eli Jones ’82 is part of the Lead by Example campaign at Texas A&M. Learn more about how to support Mays Business School at the college’s website.
For questions and information about endowments, please contact Senior Director of Development Brian Bishop at 979 862 3615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.