North Texas Daily

Alumnus makes second largest donation in College of Business’ history

Alumnus makes second largest donation in College of Business’ history

Alumnus makes second largest donation in College of Business’ history
February 04
14:00 2022

University of North Texas alumnus Wilson Jones has donated $5 million to the institution this month, which will be used to create a new career center in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

It is the second-largest donation in the school’s history, behind only Brint Ryan’s 2019 donation of $30 million that led to the college being renamed after him.

The Wilson Jones Career Center will provide opportunities for students to find internships and career opportunities that would otherwise be harder to find on their own, while also giving companies the chance to grow their relationships with potential workers earlier than before.

Construction will begin this summer and the office will be located off of the Business Leadership Building’s atrium, according to a UNT press release.

“We want careers to be on students’ minds from the beginning,” COB Dean Marilyn Wiley said. “We’re certainly not a trade school. We’re here to educate great thinkers and teach them to solve problems, but students go to college thinking about what comes after college, and for almost everyone, that is a career.”

While some of the $5 million has been set aside for remodeling costs for the new career center, the majority of the money is going to be placed into endowed generated income to hire several new staff that will help guide students towards internships and careers earlier on in college, rather than waiting until senior year.

Already, some students are excited about the opportunities that a new career center will bring to UNT.

“I’m so excited that our school’s alumn[us] was able to recognize the talent and potential within our college,” said Amara Beussman, organizational behavior and human resource management senior and president of business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi.

Wiley said the career center will be open to all students, not just those in the COB. The dean said she encourages every student to use the services available to them.

“We would like to see every single one of our students get career-related professional experience before they graduate,” Wiley said. “Whether it’s a traditional internship, or it’s an independent study where they do some work with a non-profit, or something else, but we really think that’s the best way to maximize your path to career success.”

Some students, like accounting senior Milind Patel, feel that the new career center is one of multiple improvements that can be made for students’ success.

“It is one of the good ways to use the money,” Patel said. “There’s a lot of other factors I believe that can be improved, nothing’s perfect, [but] I believe it’s one step in the right direction.”

After graduating from UNT, Jones went on to become CEO of OshKosh Corporation, a multi-million-dollar vehicle manufacturer.

Jones attributed his donation to his and his wife’s own personal struggles through college.

“Jane and I were both first-generation students and realize the importance of being prepared to start the career journey,” Jones said in the press release. “We’re proud to support a robust career center and know it will make a difference for UNT students.”

After Jones retired, he approached UNT in an effort to reconnect with and help his alma mater, ultimately leading to the donation.

“When he came to visit us, we put this opportunity in front of him because we see this as something that doesn’t impact one student or 10 students, but all of our students in a way that’s meaningful to him,” Wiley said. “And he agreed with that. He was really happy to do it. He and his wife Jane are very supportive.”

Featured Image: Seniors Amara Beussman and Abigail Weissmuller study with juniors Isaac Grey and Isabella Humpert in the Business Leadership Building on Jan. 28, 2022. Photo by Belle Maucieri

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Ayden Runnels

Ayden Runnels

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