SGTC nominates Jones as Volunteer of Year

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) and the South Georgia Technical College Foundation nominated Ruth S. Jones of Americus as their outstanding Volunteer of the Year award for 2018-2019. She was also nominated as a Technical College Foundation Association Volunteer of the Year.
“Ruth Jones was selected as the South Georgia Technical College and South Georgia Technical College Foundation Volunteer of the Year because she is an outstanding ambassador for technical education and for South Georgia Technical College,” said SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D. “She is a tireless worker and is well-known for her service, community involvement, and generosity. She embodies the ideals of philanthropy, leadership, and volunteerism in the service of Georgia’s technical college students.”
Jones was honored by the SGTC Foundation in 2011 with the Distinguished Excellence Award for Outstanding Service. She and her husband, the late Phil Jones Jr., established a legacy of leadership and philanthropy not only at SGTC but throughout this community and across the state.
Ruth Jones has personally established four different endowed scholarships at SGTC, and she and her friends contributed to a non-endowed scholarship to help individuals who did not finish high school with the cost of taking the General Education Diploma exam so that they could continue their education or join the workforce. This venture was heralded as “Girls Educating through Donations.” She personally sent out letters to many of her friends and her family asking them to make a donation in honor or in memory of a loved one so that less fortunate students would have the resources to earn a GED and hopefully continue their education. Over $25,000 was collected for the “Girls Educating with Donations” scholarship and more than 500 students have been approved for one or more parts of the GED exam through this scholarship.
Jones established her first endowed scholarship at SGTC in 2005, in memory of her husband and in honor of Alfred “Foots” Harris Jr., a lifelong friend of her late husband. This scholarship fund provides an annual scholarship to an automotive technology student who excels academically in this field.
She established the Leon F. Strickland Scholarship in 2007, for welding students in memory of her father, Leon F. Strickland, and then in 2009, endowed a scholarship for early childhood care and education students in memory of mother and father-in-law, Phil and Louise Jones Sr. She endowed her fourth scholarship in 2010 in memory of her mother, Burrelle C. Strickland. It is designated for culinary arts students.
In addition to her scholarships and commitment to helping individuals earn their GED, Jones has also given of her time and talents to decorate for the Foundation’s annual Donor Recognition Dinner for the past 12 years, at own expense. Her unique flare for decorating and design has managed to make the Foundation Donor Dinner evenings events to remember for the donors as well as the students.
“When the Technical College System of Georgia and the Technical College Foundation Association asked us to nominate an individual for the Volunteer of the Year Award, Ruth Jones was the first name that to mind. She is so dedicated to helping others and is always supporting educational opportunities. She is a rare gem and our students reap the benefits of her involvement with South Georgia Technical College and the SGTC Foundation,” said Su Ann Bird, vice president of Institutional Advancement at SGTC and executive director of its Foundation.
For more information about how to volunteer or donate to the SGTC Foundation, contact the Foundation office at 229-931-2248 or email Su Ann Bird at