Popular Baylor Business Professor Dies

July 15, 2004
News Photo 2116Robert B. Jones

by Alan Hunt

Robert B. Jones, a popular and beloved faculty member at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, died on Tuesday, July 13. Jones, who was 52, was a senior lecturer in management and entrepreneur-in-residence.

A memorial service was held at Calvary Baptist Church, 1001 North 18th Street, Waco, at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, July 17, with Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell officiating. An afternoon service was held in Comanche, Texas, at 3 p.m. at the Comanche Funeral Home, 411 W. Grand, with burial following at Pendergrass Cemetery near Sidney, Texas. OakCrest Funeral Home of Waco handled local arrangements. Visitation was held Friday, July 16, at OakCrest Funeral Home, 4520 Bosque, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Jones, who joined the business faculty in 1992, was named by the 2002 senior class as the recipient of the Collins Outstanding Professor award. As the Collins Professor, Jones was recognized at commencement ceremonies and received a cash award of $10,000. Jones also delivered a lecture prior to graduation, "Teaching: The Challenge of Developing Tomorrow's Leaders." Jones said of the coveted award, "There are so many good professors on campus. Since it's a student-elected award, I consider it the greatest honor."

A native of Seattle, Wash., he received his bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees from the College of Idaho and his master of business administration from Baylor. Jones also received the business school's Teaching Excellence Award for Non-Tenured Faculty in 1994 and the Alpha Kappa Psi Outstanding Professor award in 1997, also a student-elected award.

In his entrepreneurship class, Jones' students made a business plan, and he covered the many areas required to start and manage a business. "An entrepreneur has to be a jack of all trades," he used to tell his students. He taught the course this year during Baylor's first summer semester. Before becoming a teacher, he ran Jones Distributing Company, a family owned Evinrude distributorship that had three divisions spanning 13 states. He lived many years in Denver, Colo., while managing Jones Dist. before selling the family-business to a Fortune 500 company in 1990. He then moved to Waco, where he joined the Baylor faculty.

Jones served as a member of the Hankamer School of Business Advisory Board between 1984 and 1990 and as a member of the advisory board of the Small Business Institute from 1987-90.

He is survived by his wife, Patty; his son, John Louis Jones of Arlington; his daughter, Jennifer Leigh Jones of San Francisco; his mother, Bernice Jones of Emmett Idaho; two sisters, Victoria Josslin of Bainbridge, Wash., and Elizabeth Medes of Emmett, Idaho, and her husband Mike; and a brother Mark Jones of Meridian, Idaho, and his wife Kathleen.

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