Mike Jones ’72 wants students to have the same college experience he did. That’s why he and his wife, Linda, started the William “Mike” ’72 and Linda Jones Scholarship with a generous gift.
“The cooperative nature of the curriculum—I’m a firm believer in that,” Mike said. “I don’t know a whole lot of colleges that have cooperative education.”
Mike and Linda have known each other all of their lives. Their parents were friends, but they didn’t start dating until the summer before Mike headed to GMI. They married in 1970 in the midst of Mike’s college career.
At GMI, Mike joined the Sigma Nu fraternity and served as president of his chapter during his senior year, a time he fondly remembers.
“We had good people and good times,” he said.
Linda credited that time with developing Mike’s leadership skills.
“Employees of Dexter Axle were always saying what a good manager he was,” she said. “He learned that skill being a Co-op student and leading the fraternity.”
Mike earned his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and spent the first decade of his career at his Co-op, the Frigidaire division of General Motors. From there, he spent 30 years working for Dexter Axle Company, where he retired as its President.
He could have started a job out of high school and skipped college, but the cooperative education model at GMI appealed to him.
“I had insufficient funds. Back in my day, what you earned during the work session went a long way to covering tuition costs, but it didn’t do all of it,” Mike said. “You could get by if you had a little help, and a couple of scholarships would help students a lot.”
He described himself as “need-based,” so he and Linda hope their scholarship can help students fill that financial gap.
“We’re hoping it allows a student who wouldn’t be able to pay their way to benefit from that,” Linda said. “As time goes on, the endowment will grow, and perhaps more than one student can benefit.”
To qualify for the scholarship, students must demonstrate financial need. A preference will go to students majoring in industrial and/or manufacturing engineering.