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Ron & Marvel Jones Announce Engineering Scholarship

A student at work in SAU's engineering lab

Spring Arbor University is proud to announce the Ronald L. and Marvel C. Jones Engineering Scholarship. In response to God’s abundant blessings in their lives and their love of SAU, the Joneses have announced their third endowed scholarship, which will be available to students entering either of SAU’s new engineering programs. 

“Ron and Marvel Jones’ faith in God leads to their commitment to Christian higher education,” says SAU President Dr. Brent Ellis. “This endowed scholarship provides wonderful opportunities for students to learn and grow in an intentional Christian university community.”

Ron and Marvel Jones were introduced to Spring Arbor University long before they ever stepped foot on campus. As tennis enthusiasts and members of the Country Club of Jackson, the couple frequently encountered SAU students working at the club’s tennis facility. Over several years, the Joneses were impressed by the students’ passion for tennis and their Christ-like spirit in serving others. They decided to make their first significant charitable gift to SAU in 2011. 

The pair met while studying at Michigan State University and married just before their senior year. After over 60 years of marriage, the two priorities at the center of their busy lives are growing in their faith and sharing with others the blessings that God has generously bestowed upon them.

The Joneses are longtime members of the Jackson community and Redeemer Lutheran Church. For many years, Ron has been an integral part of the family business, Dawn Food Products, Inc., where their daughter, Carrie, is now the CEO. Marvel used her talents in the role of household manager, raising their three children and volunteering at the kids’ school. She also helped start a Stephen Ministry program at their church.

In 2014, with the help of the Office of University Advancement, Ron and Marvel served as lead donors for a brand-new tennis complex at SAU. The Jones Tennis Complex was complemented by the addition of an endowed scholarship designed to help SAU’s tennis coaches maintain the high standards well-established within the tennis program, allowing them to recruit even more talented athletes. 

Because Ron and Marvel deeply appreciate the Christian values-based education that SAU offers, they established a second endowed scholarship to ensure that students who want to experience a transformational education at SAU can afford to do so. This second scholarship was strictly designated to benefit students with unmet financial need.

Ron and Marvel continue to bless our university with the new engineering scholarship. “We’ve been blessed abundantly by God, and it is our desire to bless others,” Ron and Marvel often say, adding, “These new programs demonstrate the proactive part SAU is taking to prepare students to serve our state and nation well. We want to have a part in giving SAU’s engineering programs a strong start.”

“I am thankful for these two servants of God,” says Dr. Ronald DeLap, Dean of the School of Engineering at SAU. “This gift will have a huge, immediate impact on our engineering program, as well as a lifelong impact on the students who will be directly blessed by Ron and Marvel Jones. There is perhaps nothing as profound as changing the trajectory of young people’s lives — and that is exactly what this scholarship will do.”