Larry Jones began working at the Coleman Company as an invoice audit clerk while attending Wichita University where he was student council president. Graduating cum laude from WU in 1953 with a degree in business administration, he would go on to a doctorate in business management from Harvard, teach at both of his alma maters (becoming a Distinguished Professor of Management at WSU), assume significant administrative positions at WSU, climb the corporate ladder at Coleman to be president and chief executive president in 1989, and become the republican candidate for Governor of Kansas. Larry was also appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents and served on the boards of directors for Cessna, Union Pacific and the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce. A distinguished professorship was established in his name in Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as a legacy gift from Union Pacific in 2008.
Anita Jones graduated magna cum laude in 1953 from the WU with a degree in English language and literature. A senior honor woman, she and Larry were married shortly after graduation. A longtime supporter of WSU School of Music, Anita served on the boards for the Wichita Symphony, Wichita Center for the Arts, WSU Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Alumni Association. In 1992, she was named a Woman of Distinction by the Wichita Area Girl Scouts Council. Her service to and financial support of the College of Fine Arts has been exhibited through nine years as a Music Associates board member, six years. as vice president and an original angel of WSU Summer Theater.
Both Society of 1895 Charter Members and the recipients of the Fairmount Founders
Award in 1992, they established the Anita and Larry Jones Scholarship in Fairmount
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1993. Anita is a member of the Ulrich Salon
Circle and has supported faculty fellowships to numerous faculty, including Sam Ramey’s
faculty position in the opera program. Anita has made special gifts to the percussion
program and orchestral programs. Both Larry and Anita
have shown their commitment to excellence in WSU music by attending countless concerts, recitals, opera and stage productions.