Approximately 500 students of Cleveland State’s class of 2015 will receive their degrees and certificates during the 49th Commencement Ceremony this Saturday at 10 a.m. in the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium.
“Commencement is a day of celebration for goals obtained, new beginnings and new opportunities,” Cleveland State President William Seymour said. “We are thankful for these students sharing their very best with our campus community. Each one has strengthened us and inspired us to continue the mission for decades to come. A highlight of this year’s commencement will be the address by Allan Jones. Given Allan’s leadership for the Bradley Achieves Program over recent years, I am looking forward to his comments to graduates that he has helped to achieve their dream of completing college.”
Allan Jones will deliver the keynote address at Saturday’s commencement.
A native of Cleveland, Mr. Jones is a proud 1972 graduate of Cleveland High School. Upon his graduation from high school, he enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University to pursue a degree in Business Management; however, in 1973 health issues facing his father, William A. “Bill” Jones forced him to put his education on hold in order to help stabilize the family business. Jones later enrolled at Cleveland State Community College, but the growing demands of running the family business prevented him from obtaining his degree.
Running his father’s business seems to have afforded Mr. Jones real life experience as he found himself being able to purchase his father’s small business, the Credit Bureau of Cleveland. Under his leadership, the bureau was able to create the largest bureau database in the state. In 1988, Jones decided it was time to take the business in a different direction. He sold the credit reporting side of the business to Equifax, while he retained ownership of the collection agency division. In 1998, after growing the collections company to the largest in Tennessee, he sold that company in order to focus on Check Into Cash which he had founded and serves as the CEO. Allan Jones is also the founder and CEO of Jones Management Services, which he began in 1996.
However, what makes Mr. Jones the most proud is finding ways to give back to his community. He was the only single source donor for the tnAchieves program, the program that gave birth to the state-funded tnPromise program. His generous contribution allowed hundreds of Bradley Central, Cleveland and Walker Valley graduates to receive a degree from Cleveland State tuition and fee free.
Mr. Jones is the husband of Janie and the father of Abby, Will, Bailey and Courtney. He has one granddaughter, Gincy.
For those who are unable to attend the commencement ceremony, it will also be broadcast live online through the Cleveland State website at www.clevelandstatecc.edu. It will be archived and can be viewed later by visiting the website.