JIU’s founder Glenn R. Jones embodies determination and the entrepreneurial spirit. Undaunted by his modest beginnings, he was committed to hard work, risk taking, and making the most of every opportunity. His creation of Jones International University was fueled by his commitment to make personal and professional success a possibility for every individual, regardless of circumstance.
Mr. Jones was born in Pennsylvania, to parents who highly valued education, although neither had gone beyond high school. When Mr. Jones graduated from high school himself, he began working the night shift in a nearby steel mill, until early one morning when his father woke him up and announced that he was taking Glenn to college. That day, his father packed him a bag and drove him to a small school in Ohio.
Mr. Jones graduated from college and shortly thereafter received his draft notice. After five years in the Navy, specializing as an underwater bomb disposal frogman, Mr. Jones left the service and enrolled in law school.
After graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1961, Mr. Jones began a law practice whose “office” ended up being in a series of coffee shops in Denver and surrounding mountain towns. One day, a friend approached him about representing a cable company, an industry then in its nascence, and the entrepreneur and futurist in him told him that this was a world-changing technology. He borrowed $400 against his Volkswagen to purchase a small, dysfunctional cable operation in Georgetown, Colo., and by the time he sold the company—Jones Intercable—in 1999, it was one of the largest cable operators in the United States.
His passion for education, and personal experience of its power, was never far from Mr. Jones’ mind. In 1987, as his cable empire continued to expand, he coupled his expertise in communications technology with his desire to “democratize” education by making it as widely available as possible. The result was Mind Extension University™ (ME/U), a cable channel devoted to the provision of K-12 and, eventually, college courses.
With the advancement of Internet technology, Mr. Jones envisioned a way to extend education’s reach globally, and became a pioneer in the field of online education. He founded Jones International University® (JIU®) in 1993 to enable students to learn from anywhere in the world, at any time. In March 1999, JIU became the first completely online university to receive regional accreditation, the highest accreditation a university in the U.S. can be granted. In 2004, Mr. Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the United States Distance Learning Association for his leadership in the advancement of online education. He has also been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and the Cable Television Hall of Fame, as well as the Colorado Business Hall of Fame.
Mr. Jones helped other universities benefit from his pioneering in Internet-based education. He founded Jones e-education: Software Standard® (JESS®), a groundbreaking online course management and delivery platform. Jones e-global library®, an entirely virtual library originally created for JIU faculty and students, has been made available for license by universities, corporations and individuals around the world.