A liberal education communicates what great minds have thought, great artists have created, great leaders have done. Also included is new knowledge; a liberal education communicates what is being acquired on the frontiers of contemporary inquiry and current advances of the human spirit.


President Jones celebrates the labyrinth installation with the OWU community.

Since Rock Jones, Ph.D., became Ohio Wesleyan’s 16th president in 2008, his energetic leadership has been helping to move the University forward with innovative academic programs, new and rejuvenated campus facilities, and a strong sense of engagement with alumni and the community.

President Jones holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas-Austin, a Master of Divinity magna cum laude from the Duke University Divinity School, and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Hendrix College. Prior to joining Ohio Wesleyan, he worked for Hendrix, serving in roles that included Executive Vice President and Dean of Advancement, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, interim Vice President for Student Affairs, and Chaplain.

Presidents of the Five Colleges of Ohio, March 1, 2017

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

At this critical time, continued Federal funding for the important work being done at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is essential.

As the presidents of Ohio’s leading liberal arts colleges, we have seen how the NEA and NEH provide vital resources for local initiatives at our colleges, in our communities, in our state, and across the nation. That support helps the arts and humanities drive innovation and generate economic uplift in thousands of American communities.

Pioneering exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, free “Concerts in the Park” by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and after-school art instruction for elementary school children in Appalachia through the Dairy Barn Southeastern Ohio Cultural Arts Center in Athens are just three of the many arts and humanities programs in Ohio made possible by the NEA and NEH.

On the national level, the NEH has funded groundbreaking scholarly research, aided libraries and museums across the country in preserving their humanities collections and essential cultural and educational resources, cataloged more than 63 million pages of our nation’s historic newspapers, and helped millions of young people grapple with the lessons of history. Additionally, both the NEH and NEA offer healing programs for wounded military personnel, as well as veterans and their families, and veterans reintegrating into civilian life.

The NEA supports art and education programs in every Congressional District in the United States. Access to the arts for all Americans is a core principle of the Endowment. The majority of NEA grants go to small and medium-sized organizations and schools, and a significant percentage of grants fund programs in high-poverty communities. Both agencies extend their influence through states’ arts agencies and humanities councils, ensuring that programs reach even the smallest communities in remote rural areas.

As educators, we know that NEH and NEA programs benefit America’s young people by breaking down ethnic and socio-economic barriers between student populations that might not otherwise meet. Playing in an orchestra, being in a theater production or working on a history project can provide structure, a sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging that have a powerful, positive effect on the lives of young people, especially those living in disadvantaged neighborhoods and areas.

As President Lyndon Johnson said when he signed the bill creating the NEH and NEA agencies, “The arts and humanities belong to the people, for it is, after all, the people who create them.” Federal funding for the arts and humanities is essential to our education system, our economy, and our greatness as a nation. We ask you to join us in honoring the spirit of creativity and challenge you to strengthen these outstanding American institutions.

Most respectfully,

Sarah Bolton, President
The College of Wooster

Sean Decatur, President
Kenyon College

Rock Jones, President
Ohio Wesleyan University

Marvin Krislov, President
Oberlin College

Adam Weinberg, President
Denison University

Rock Jones, President, January 30, 2017

Dear Campus Community,

For 175 years, Ohio Wesleyan has fulfilled the vision of our founders who state unequivocally in our Charter that “the University is forever to be conducted on the most liberal principles, accessible to all religious denominations.” This statement has become synonymous with Ohio Wesleyan, clearly defining who we are and what we value. Indeed, we actively pursue diversity on our campus because we believe our students, faculty, staff, and the institution itself thrive in an atmosphere of free-flowing ideas and wide-ranging global perspectives and experiences.

As I shared recently with The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Wesleyan strongly believes that a diverse student body adds to the breadth and depth of all learning and is vital to our collective efforts to understand and address the world’s most pressing issues. Since I joined Ohio Wesleyan in 2008, I have witnessed over and over again the value of such diversity, including religious diversity, to our campus and our world.

Twice in my tenure, our WCSA student-government president has been Muslim, including one student from Pakistan and one born in this country. Our two most recent graduating class trustees, elected by their classmates for three-year terms on the Board of Trustees, have been from Pakistan and Afghanistan. And we are fortunate each year to come together as a campus to celebrate Culture Fest, Diwali, Eid, Holi, and several other events that contribute to international collaboration, cooperation, and understanding.

The OWU Connection – through its Travel-Learning Courses, Theory-to-Practice Grants, and other elements – has taken our students to more than 60 countries since 2009, exploring topics ranging from social conditions for Muslim immigrants in France to perspectives of Pakistani citizens toward the United States. All of these experiences are vital to Ohio Wesleyan’s unwavering commitment to educate moral leaders for the global society, leaders who understand issues from an international and inclusive lens.


In this global society, the free flow of students and scholars enhances democracy in this country and around the world. International students attending U.S. institutions and interacting daily in this culture gain a true understanding and appreciation of our democracy and our values. When they take that understanding home, we build a more peaceful world. Such understanding may be most important with some of the nations identified in Friday’s U.S. Presidential Executive Order on interior immigration enforcement.

This order affects all institutions of higher education, as we work collectively to share knowledge and promote understanding that transcends geographical, political, and social boundaries. Like our counterparts at other colleges and universities, we at Ohio Wesleyan are closely monitoring all developments related to the order, voicing our concerns to lawmakers, and working to assist and provide accurate information for students and families with questions and concerns.


We already have reached out to all of our international students and continue to provide every OWU student with support, advice, and information. We will do everything possible to protect student privacy while adhering to legal mandates. If you believe you may be affected by this Presidential Executive Order and you have questions, please contact Darrell Albon, Administrative Director of The OWU Connection Program, at djalbon@owu.edu or Dwayne Todd, Vice President for Student Engagement and Success and Dean of Students, at dktodd@owu.edu 

Please know that Ohio Wesleyan remains wholly committed to supporting all students pursuing higher education within the United States. Ohio Wesleyan remains unshakeable in our commitment to remain “forever to be conducted on the most liberal principles, accessible to all religious denominations.”

Rock Jones, President,
Ohio Wesleyan University

Nuggets from Articles & Speeches



Office of the President
Ohio Wesleyan University
University Hall 101
Delaware, OH 43015
F 740-368-3007
E rfjones@owu.edu