Bloomsburg Alum Gifts More Than $7 Million to Support Commonwealth University Honors College



Stephen J. Jones, a 1983 graduate of Bloomsburg University, a legacy institution of Commonwealth University (CU), and his wife, Melanie Sanchez-Jones, have gifted more than $7 million to the Honors College. Their most recent $5.6 million gift, combined with their previous $1.5 million investment, which included renovating the Honors College residence hall on the CU-Bloomsburg campus, will help the university attract and support exceptional students from diverse backgrounds. 

In recognition of their incredible philanthropy, the Honors College on all CU campuses will be named the Eileen G. Jones Honors College, a tribute to Jones' mother. This contribution represents the largest gift to date designated to benefit students across all CU locations – Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, Mansfield, and Clearfield.

"The impact of this extraordinary gift from Steve and Melanie cannot be overstated,” said CU President Bashar W. Hanna. “Their generosity will shape the future of education at CU, elevating our commitment to providing a challenging and engaging educational experience by allowing us to keep class sizes small, provide mentorship programs, and increase access to high-impact practices and experiential learning opportunities.”

In addition to naming the college, the Jones’ gift will also provide funding for more scholarships, professional experience grants, and increased faculty support on each campus. Donated through the Bloomsburg University Foundation, the endowed fund's objectives also support CU’s strategic goals, including increasing the university's target of 10% of enrolled students being honors students.

Interim Honors College Dean John Hintz, Ph.D. commented on the transformative impact of the gift, "This generous donation will create a ripple effect throughout our university while also helping us to foster a sense of community among our enrolled honors students. We are dedicated to providing a holistic educational experience that prepares them for success in their academic and professional journeys.”

“As the university grows, the need for dedicated spaces and programs for honors students at all campuses will grow right along with it,” Jones said. “We’ve been looking for the right place to make a gift that would have a profound impact on as many students as possible, while also enhancing the value of a CU degree, and this seemed like the perfect way for us to achieve that goal.”

Jones currently serves as the chair of the BU Foundation Board of Directors.