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Reginald Jones, Trustee Emeritus

R. Jones

Mr. Reginald H. Jones, Penn emeritus trustee, and former CEO of General Electric Company, died on December 30, at the age of 89.

Mr. Jones was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England and moved to the U.S. when he was eight years old. He graduated from the Wharton School in 1939. While at Penn he was elected president of Beta Gamma, the national honorary academic fraternity, and was treasurer of Phi Sigma Kappa.

He joined General Electric in the company's Business Training Course in 1939. Three years later, he became a traveling auditor, moving to general management, serving as manager of company businesses in the consumer, utility, industrial, construction and distribution fields. In 1968, he became GE's CFO and was elected senior vice president two years later. In 1972, he became president, then chairman and chief executive officer of GE. As CEO he brought new strategic direction to GE, emphasizing strong internal growth fostered by research and development, strategic planning and the introduction of the sector structure that "prepared the organization and the people to meet General Electric's long-range growth opportunities in the decade ahead,"  Mr. Jones said at the time.

In 1968 Mr. Jones joined the Penn Board of Trustees and continued as a trustee emeritus and honorary trustee until his death. As chair of the Development Committee he represented Penn in boardrooms across the nation. He was a founding member of the Wharton Board of Overseers, its chair for 13 years, and the Chair Emeritus. He was also chair of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute Board of Governors.

 In a Memorial Resolution on February 20,  the Board of Trustees said:

"Throughout his life he was admired for his intelligence, integrity, and interest in those around him. Dubbed the country's most respected business executive and spokesman for corporate America, he was appointed to advisory positions by presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter. He served as Chairman of the Business Council and co-Chairman of the Business Roundtable and was the recipient of the Poor Richard Club's Gold Medal of Achievement for educating the public about industry and the Captain Robert Dollar Memorial Award for distinguished contributions to American Foreign Trade and Investment."

The Reginald H. Jones Professorship of Corporate Management in the Wharton School, the Reginald Jones Center in Jon H. Huntsman Hall, and the Reginald H. and Grace Cole Jones Trustee Scholarship will serve as fitting reminders to future alumni of one of our alma mater's most loyal and dedicated sons. The force of his intellect and personality will long remain vivid to all who knew him."

Mr. Jones is survived by his wife, Grace Cole Jones, (CW'39); his son, the Reverend Keith Edwin Jones, (W'64); his daughter, Grace Jones Vineyard, (CW'66); five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Thomas E. Leary, Purchasing

Tom Leary, a procurement specialist in purchasing services, who recently celebrated his 30 year anniversary as a Penn employee, died on January 21, after a long illness.

Mr. Leary joined Penn in 1973 as a buyer and became a procurement specialist in 1996, a title he held until his death. "Tom was a key staff member of the Purchasing Services Department. Tom was widely admired for his professionalism, his energy, and his genial personality. He had the unique ability to find solutions to complex problems. His dedication to his work and his love for Penn were always apparent. All who worked with him and knew him will miss him very much," said director Bob Michel.

Mr. Leary  is survived by his wife, Judy;  his  son, Thomas E. Leary, Jr.;  his daughter, Marianne E. Pangia; his mother, Madeleine Leary;  and brothers, James and Laurence.

Donations to the American Cancer Society, 1851 Old Cuthbert Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ 08034 will be accepted in his memory.

Memorial Celebration: Orneice Dorsey Leslie

The School of Social Work and the Penn community will honor the life of Orneice Dorsey Leslie on Monday, March 22, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The celebration will take place in Houston Hall's Bodek Lounge. The School of Social Work is currently putting together a program booklet to give to her family at the memorial, so those interested in sending a personal quote and/or a special photo for inclusion in this booklet, please send them to Melissa Coleman, School of Social Work, 3701 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214 or e-mail them to by March 8.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 24, March 2, 2004