Beth Jones Has Plans for Women at Dickinson


Photo courtesy of Sarah mash ’25

Beth Jones has taken on an increasingly involved role with the college during her husband John E. Jones III’s first full year as President of Dickinson. She is currently in the planning stage of an initiative with the Office of College Advancement to better connect women students, faculty and staff at the college with women alumni through special events and philanthropy.

Jones wants to create “a sense of community, a sense of involvement” across generations of women at the college. 

“John and I are really partners in this,” she said of the presidency, and she wants to take advantage of that role to bring women across the Dickinson community together.

During the last 40 years, she and her husband have been involved in their fair share of philanthropy. That philanthropy, Jones pointed out, is most often centered around men. Within a family, she said, “It’s generally a very important conversation to have with both people.” Expanding this conversation to be more inclusive is the goal of the tentatively titled “Women for Dickinson” or “First Lady Initiative” program.

The overarching goals of the initiative, Jones told The Dickinsonian, are to forge connections between women on campus and encourage women who have graduated to donate their “time, talent and treasure” to support current students. She wants to meet with women’s groups on campus, as well as women alumni to better understand “where their interests lie.”

Her husband “does a good job of getting people excited,” Jones said, but when it comes to supporting women on campus, she feels that it is important “for a woman to be a part of it.” When she was in college, for example, she said, “nobody ever said to me, do you want to go into law?” Now, her two granddaughters “can do anything.” She brings that perspective to her work with the college.

“It is really important for me that girls don’t get lost in the narrative,” Jones said. And for that reason, she said, “I’m all in — whatever they need me to do.”

The next step in the planning process for Jones’ initiative is to meet with a series of focus groups to speak with women alumni about their priorities for donations.