Cultivating talent

Black and white headshot of William Powell Jones
William Powell Jones, 1967

Curricular innovation, research travel stipends and professional development are just a few of the opportunities that will soon be available to junior faculty members in Case Western Reserve’s Department of English, thanks to the endowed William Powell Jones Fund.

From 1930 to 1967, William Powell Jones climbed the ranks to professor and held numerous leadership positions, including chair of the Department of English and dean of Adelbert College—a predecessor to CWRU’s College of Arts and Sciences. He had a knack for developing new curricula as needs evolved, most notably a “Great Books” course to ensure all undergraduates gained a solid literary foundation.

Now, the late professor’s surviving sons, Nick and Hal Jones, are honoring his campus legacy by establishing the fund. 

“It’s important for young faculty members to have opportunities to expand their horizons, work with senior faculty and develop new courses,” said Nick Jones, PhD. “But they can’t do so without resources. Dad, coming from a very poor background, understood that.”

Walt Hunter, PhD, an associate professor and chair of the English department, said the gift will be transformative.

“This opens up myriad opportunities to broaden the scope of our courses, research and collaborations in University Circle,” Hunter said. “If a faculty member wants to travel to visit a particular archive—something William Powell Jones did for his research—we can support them. Or if someone wants to create a course on 20th-century painting and literature, we can work with colleagues at the Cleveland Museum of Art to craft an immersive new course. We’re so grateful to the Jones family for their generosity.