Rodney W. Jones '64
Juniata took me on faith because the College didn't know if I could pay for it. The scholarship gave me some assurance that I would manage my way through.
-Rodney W. Jones '64
When someone makes a gift to Juniata to create a scholarship, the reverberations of that single gift can echo far beyond the confines of the College. Just as the thread of a Juniata education can have far-reaching connections throughout a graduate's career, a single scholarship can have an academic "butterfly effect" (The scientific theory that says the tiny beat of a butterfly's wings can alter the air patterns in the atmosphere enough so as to cause changes in weather systems half a world away.) that echoes long past the applause that accompanies a commencement ceremony.
The family and friends of the late Richard M. Simpson, a Huntingdon politician who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1937 to 1960, had no idea what each recipient of the Simpson scholarship would do with the education it helped make possible, but each student who was able to come to Juniata by virtue of their gift has enlightened and changed the "atmosphere" of their field and in turn influenced the careers and choices of those they have worked with.
The reverberations of a career choice made possible by a timely scholarship inevitably connects the disparate threads of colleagues, acquaintances, students, employees into an influential tapestry that not only reflects the fullness of a single career but also the many people who occupy places within that atmosphere.
Rodney W. Jones '64, president of his own consultancy firm, Policy Architects International, can certainly attest to that. The son of two international Christian missionaries posted in India, Ceylon and Pakistan, Jones had spent most of his life overseas before returning stateside to attend college.
"They took me on faith because the College didn't know if I could pay for it," says Jones, who received the Simpson Memorial Scholarship in his sophomore year. "The scholarship gave me some assurance that I would manage my way through."
Inspired by the faculty at Juniata to become a teacher, Jones went to graduate school at Columbia University and accepted a job as a professor at Kansas State University. In the mid-1970s he accepted an academic fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations and worked in the Carter Administration on security policy, Persian Gulf issues and South Korean defense issues. He went back to academia at Georgetown University to work at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and then worked at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, where he worked closely on several disarmament treaties (START, INF, the Lisbon Agreement). Ultimately he started his own firm, based in Reston Va., as an adviser and strategist on proliferation issues.
"Juniata's intellectual curiosity, models for teaching, and examples of community building were invaluable to me in my career. The College played a role in my life as a community - that is Juniata's special value," Jones says. "Juniata gave me a strong sense of public and community service, it strengthened my own sense of its importance and it played a role in my commitment to my own career."
That social fabric, which Jones says has informed his teaching and public policy assignments, often inspires Juniatians to reach out to the world at large in their own way.