Born to LeadPosted by Paula Paine on November 19, 2013 in "Academic Programs", "Current Students", Music, "School of Business", "The College", "Your OU" If you met Sophomore and Student Body President Michael Jones, you would have the perfect mental picture of an “overachiever.” Involved in four sports, four activities and four clubs at Shawnee Mission North High School, as well as being active in community and church events while maintaining an outstanding academic record, it’s no wonder he was offered a Presidential Scholarship at Ottawa University in 2012. He also received Shawnee Mission’s Mary Lou Jones Scholarship, which is awarded to graduating students who were in Mrs. Mary Lou Jones’s sixth grade class that she determined had great potential.
Though Jones had scholarship opportunities to attend other schools, Ottawa University was the right fit for him.
“Rather than feeling like I had to put on a mask and become a number like I may have had to do at other universities, I had the opportunity to be myself and explore my passions at Ottawa University,” he says.
Once on the OU campus, Jones again became very active, joining the University Concert Choir, Orchestra and Jazz Singers; serving in campus ministries; being an OU Alumni Board student representative; and tutoring students through the Adawe LifePlan Center. “These activities allow me to pursue my passions,” says Jones. “Music has always been something that has driven my life, and I am especially excited to go on the choir trip to Italy in March. On the other hand, my walk of faith is a big part of everything else I am involved in and drives me to connect in community with students, alumni and all others involved with the University.”
Students have obviously been impressed with Jones’ involvement and leadership on campus, choosing him as student body president when just a sophomore. Academically, Jones has also excelled, with a double major in business economics and accounting and a concentration in social enterprise management.
The responsibility to set an example and serve others that accompanies leadership is not lost on Jones. He has initiated an organization among his fellow Presidential and Provost Scholarship recipients, known as Top Scholars, to proactively engage in leadership activities across campus through the David C. Owen Leadership Institute housed in the Angell Snyder School of Business. Just getting off the ground, Jones hopes the organization will be a catalyst for positive and meaningful action at the University.
“Mike is the kind of young man that infects others with his quiet leadership and passion,” says Dean of the Angell Snyder School of Business Dr. Kirk Wessel. “He wants those who have been privileged to receive these scholarships to live up to the high expectations of the University by demonstrating what caring, thoughtful and engaged leadership looks like on The College campus. He also wants to make the scholarship donors proud of who was chosen to benefit from their sacrificial giving. That gives me goose bumps.”
Even though Jones isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do with his degree in terms of career, he has no doubt what type of role he wants to assume. “I know that I want to use the education I am receiving in a form that will allow me to benefit and give opportunities to the communities that I am a part of,” he says. “I have been blessed with amazing opportunities throughout life, and I want to give back once my own life is established, hopefully in the business world.”
Clearly, Mike Jones was “born to lead.”
Jones consoles Gibby #1 as he moves into retirement prior to the unveiling of Gibby #2 during the football season opener. “One of the more memorable experiences that I have had while at OU would have to be the unveiling of the Gibby uniform earlier this football season where I was the emcee of the event,” says Jones.