Why I Give to Minnesota State, Mankato

David Jones

Our shared love of Minnesota State University, Mankato pulls us closer. It is a University with a special impact on everyone who studies here, works with the students here and invests in the future of this institution. I should know. I walk the walk every day as I work to help students achieve their goals and dreams. As the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, I wish to share a little bit more about what Student Affairs and the University are doing to live like Mavericks!

This Student Affairs Highlight is our 30th highlight spotlighting the incredible work our students and staff are doing to improve themselves and our campus. If you wish to revisit any of these highlights, you can find them here: http://www.mnsu.edu/student/about/highlights.html

Over the past several years, we have shared the personal stories of student leaders, student volunteers, alumni, staff members and donors who have chosen to provide financial support for our students and programs. From our first story addressing student hunger through Campus Kitchen to our most recent one about the former Editor-In-Chief of our student newspaper, The Reporter, we have been sharing stories about the incredible things happening at Minnesota State Mankato.

In my role, I frequently have the pleasure to meet with current students, alumni and champions of our work here at the University. Without fail, each has a specific story, person or event that helped them to become the Maverick they are. These Maverick Moments are the backbone of our learning and define who we become. As we begin 2019, we will share more of these Maverick Moments with you and invite you to share yours with us. To that end, it only seems fair that I share the first one.

My Maverick Moment involves trees. As a University leader, I have the opportunity to work on projects and planning, especially with students. Oftentimes the work we are doing today will not immediately assist current students; rather, it will serve as a support for future students. This is often summed up in our conversations as our ”planting trees under whose shade future students will benefit.“ Forethought in leadership among this current generation of students is awe-inspiring. Many of our students are striving to be the first in their family to graduate with a four-year degree. When working with these students, we recognize that their success has the potential of changing their family tree for generations. It is this final tree that drives my wife and I to support Minnesota State Mankato.

Some of you may know that I am married to a Maverick. My wife, Jennifer, is a 1992 graduate and a long-time educator. She is also the first in her family to earn a four-year degree. We both believe in the transformational power of earning a degree, especially from Minnesota State Mankato. That’s why we choose to give to the University, specifically to Student Affairs. Our gifts will contribute to the formation of a new Student Affairs scholarship for sophomore students active in a student organization. We will be awarding this new scholarship for Fall 2019.

I want to invite you to be a part of the fun of supporting students, in whatever way makes most sense for you. I would love to discuss our thoughts behind this student success initiative, and to hear more about the ideas you have as well.

As we celebrate this holiday season, I wish to thank you for your support, time, energy and love of our University. Best wishes to you and your family. May our paths cross in 2019.

Yours in Maverick Spirit,

David P. Jones, Ph.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.