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The Jones Family Foundation makes an impact on students in the city of Red Wing by providing free tuition.

Anne and Scott Jones

Red Wing students will soon be able to attend Minnesota State College Southeast tuition free. Thanks to the Red Wing College Promise Program, they can earn up to a two-year degree thanks to a gift from the Jones Family Foundation.

Scott Jones and his wife Anne have been dedicated to serving the Red Wing community since founding the Jones Family Foundation in 1988. With the help of Scott’s parents Ora and Barbara, the couple has been able to carry on their goal of sustaining and growing educational opportunities, economic vitality as well as arts and culture.

“The idea for this initiative came to us from Dr. Danielson, president of Minnesota State College Southeast,” said Anne. “She had just come from a conference and learned about the College Promise Program that’s in Austin, Minnesota with The Hormel Foundation that partnered with Riverland Community College.”

The Jones Family Foundation was formed as a donor advised fund of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and has since grown to become a supporting organization of the Foundation, inspiring others to “go generously” with their philanthropy.

“I think both Anne and I grew up in generous families,” said Scott. “We were given that value at an early stage in our lives and that has always stayed with us. We’ve both had careers and were very fortunate to create a certain level of wealth that we knew had to come back to the community.”

Making College Possible

As part of the Red Wing College Promise Program, the Jones Family Foundation will cover all tuition for up to 70 college credits and some expenses beyond what students are able to receive from other financial aid. This scholarship is available to youth in the Red Wing public school district who have a 2.0 GPA or are:

  • First-generation college students
  • Low-income students
  • Students of historically underserved racial or ethnic groups

“I think the beauty of this program is that we really viewed it with our board as touching on four different levels within the community,” said Scott Jones.

“The first and most obvious, of course, are the students themselves who will be able to go to college. We think it also will help strengthen our high school. Clearly Minnesota State College Southeast will be strengthened, so when you think about families moving to the community because of this, that strengthens the tax base. It also strengthens the diversity of the community.”

Impacting the Lives of Other Youth

The Joneses hope to continue honoring their philanthropic goals long after they are gone.

“We've long held a belief that eventually, over time, every dollar that we might have taken out of this community as we’ve lived, will be put back into the community many times over,” said Anne. “Our estate plan involves giving a significant gift to the Jones Family Foundation so it will be a perpetual foundation going forward.”

In addition to the Jones Family Foundation, Anne and Scott also have established another foundation in their second home of Tucson, Arizona.

“We were having dinner one night with dear friends we met down in the Tucson area and we started talking about the needs of the community,” Anne said. “And we thought, wouldn't it be interesting if our community were to start a foundation that really focused on one of the growing and emerging needs that impact our young people. Within just a matter of a few months, we had talked to so many other residents of our community, and friends, that we all decided to start the Stone Canyon Community Foundation.”

Since its inaugural year in 2008, the Stone Canyon Community Foundation has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars each year to fund organizations that are serving at-risk youth in the Tucson community.

Through their giving, Anne and Scott hope to inspire others to continue their legacy of generosity.

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