Grayson College faculty, alumni and members of the community came together Thursday to recognize former board of trustees member Ralph Jones for his long service to the college. Jones announced his resignation from the board earlier this year after nearly a half century of service.


Jones first joined the board of trustees in 1969 as an appointee before becoming an elected member. Prior to joining the board, he also served on the committees that helped the need for a junior college in Grayson County that ultimately led to the creation of Grayson College.


“The good that you have done spiderwebs out into all different areas and you will never know what all good has come from that,” State House Rep. Reggie Smith said Thursday.


Jones submitted his resignation from the board in March, but did not give any reason at the time as to why he was leaving.


Jones said little during the small reception and recognition, but said the college has changed significantly during the past 50 years. When the college first formed, Jones said it was little more than just rock and he added that the college has a personal importance to him as his wife attended the school.


Prior to Thursday’s meeting, Jones was recognized by Denison in 2018 for his contributions when the city awarded him its Moving Forward, Giving Back Award.


“The fact is that for 48 years you have served so selflessly and with such high energy,” then-Mayor Jared Johnson said. “You’ve taken your banking industry skill set and you’ve poured it into thousands of students that are in high schools all over the community, … their kids and perhaps grandchildren one day will benefit from the work that you and others have done.”


During Thursday’s ceremony, Jones was thanked for his years of service by Smith, board chair Ronnie Cole and GC President Jeremy McMillen, among others.


Smith presented Jones with a proclamation in honor of his time with the board, adding that no one, including Jones, will likely truly know the scale of impact his contributions have had on those who attended the college.


“You made this a priority and your prioritization is evident today in the continued involvement that Grayson County College has in the area,” he said.


Cole presented Jones with a lifetime membership to the Association of Community College Trustees, joking that while Jones may be retiring, he will always be a trustee.


McMillen unveiled a plaque featuring Jones that will be displayed in the new dormitory that bears his name. McMillen said the plaque will feature information on Jones along with a picture of him on one of his trips advocating for the college.


“We are grateful to you and your service to this college and your vision,” McMillen said.