Thomas Allen Jones, of Texarkana, Arkansas, recently established the Lorenza A. Miears Memorial Endowed Scholarship at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana. The donation is given in memory of his Great-grandfather, Lorenza A. Miears.
The scholarship was given in memory of Miears because of his dedication to education. “My great-grandfather was licensed to teach in Union County, Arkansas, in 1870. He eventually moved to Hempstead County and taught there for many years. His legacy of education has always been an example for me and others in my family,” said Jones.
Jones graduated from Lewisville High School, in Lewisville, Arkansas, in 1951. Motivated by his great-grandfather’s legacy, he continued his education at Arkansas A&M University in Monticello, Arkansas, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry and Engineering in 1955. From there, he attended Purdue University in Indiana, where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Forestry and Industrial Management in 1957. “I hope that this scholarship will not only help memorialize my great-grandfather but also assist deserving students in helping them earn their college degree the same way I had help along the way,” Jones said.
After college, Jones worked as an Instructor of Management Science at Purdue University for two years. In 1960, he was employed by Kimberly-Clark Corporation as the Manager of Project Development, where he retired in 1981.
“My family was the original settlers in the Patmos area in southern Hempstead County, where I grew up, and I still have many relatives who live there. My Great-grandfather Lorenza is buried in the Providence Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery there. When I returned to the area after retiring, I was pleased to learn about the great work UAHT was doing around my hometown. I hope this scholarship will help continue that work, help add to the local economy, and help the area grow,” said Jones.
Anna Powell, Executive Director of the U of A Hope-Texarkana Foundation, said it has been most enjoyable learning the history behind this scholarship. “The history of education in our area continues to fascinate me,” she said. “I appreciate Mr. Jones’ donation, and I have no doubt there are others in our communities who have deep roots in education. I would love to hear their stories and see them honor their ancestors as well.”
For more information about the U of A Hope-Texarkana Foundation scholarships, call 870-722-8516.