The philanthropic support of Clarence and Martha Jones extends cross the breadth of the University of Nevada, Reno, from academic program support in the sciences and engineering, to journalism and the liberal arts. Their support of student success extends from athletics to academic scholarships awarded annually through the scholarship endowment they created. The University's Jones Center was rededicated in their honor in 1983 after they funded its renovation. Located on the historic Quad, the Jones Center was designed by noted architect Frederick DeLongchamps in 1913 and opened as the University's library in 1914.
"Clarence and Martha Jones have done so much for the university, have given so much to help so many that in letter after letter after letter I have had to write to them: 'Dear Clarence and Martha, I have run out of ways to say thanks, and, furthermore, I have run out of ways to say I have run out of ways to say thanks,'" wrote University President Emeritus Joe Crowley, in The Constant Conversation, his chronicle of the University.
Martha Jones, born Nov. 3, 1912, died on Feb. 8, 2012.
From her obituary, written by her family, is this summary of Mrs. Jones' history and contributions:
She was born in Sacramento, Calif., to Charles Hansen and Lucinda Washington Hansen. In 1927 the family moved to Reno when Martha's father purchased the Lindley and Company wholesale grocery branch store. Martha graduated from Reno High School in 1929, attended the University of Nevada for two years, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in public school music, piano, and voice with minors in English and history from the College of Pacific in 1933. She went on to acquire her music teaching certificate in 1934.
Because of the Great Depression there were no music teaching positions open in California schools, so Martha returned to Reno where she began as a substitute organist at the Reno area churches. In 1935, Martha married Clarence K. Jones, who was working with Reno Newspapers, Inc. as circulation manager. They had two daughters, Ann Carlson '59 (business administration), '74M.Ed (education administration) and Charlotte McConnell, who both remain actively involved with the University of Nevada, Reno.
Martha became the regular organist for the First United Methodist Church in 1942 and retired in 1967 after serving 25 years. In addition, she served as church secretary for several years and held countless offices on the local, district and conference levels in the Methodist Church. For twelve years she was the executive secretary of the Methodist Employed Women's group for the ten western states, which included travel to numerous states and an annual trip to New York City. Martha served as executive secretary of the Reno Camp Fire Girls during the war years in the 40's, and in 1986 received the Friend of Camp Fire Award for 60 years of outstanding support. Martha belonged to a number of other organizations and devoted a significant amount of time volunteering. For 15 years Martha was employed as a bookkeeper for the Nevada Engraving Company.
After Clarence's retirement in 1972, Martha and Clarence traveled the world extensively, visiting all seven continents. They were extremely generous philanthropists. Their donations to the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Pacific have been well recognized. Martha was awarded the President's Medal from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1985, named Distinguished Alumna of the Year for University Service at UOP in 1986, and was a Charter Member of the President's Associates for UOP in 1987. Martha was inducted into the Nevada Women's Fund Hall of Fame in 1988 and became a Junior Achievement Laureate in 1995.
Her husband Clarence '31 (electrical engineering), her parents, and her brother, Charles B. Hansen, preceded Martha in death. She is survived by her two daughters, Ann Carlson (Ron Turek) and Charlotte (Dick) McConnell, both of Reno; three grandchildren, Scott (Veronique) Markewitz of Salt Lake City, Kristine (Todd) Biernacki of White Salmon, Wash., and Lisa (Harris) Marks of Denver; and five great-grandchildren, Julien Markewitz, Devon and Sophie Biernacki, and Cooper and Easton Marks.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 201 West First Street in Reno. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation - C&M Jones Scholarship, Mail Stop /162, Reno, NV 89557; the First United Methodist Church Foundation, 201 West First Street, Reno, NV 89501; Nevada Women's Fund, Martha H. Jones Scholarship Endowment, 770 Smithridge Drive, Suite 300, Reno, NV 89502; or to your favorite charity.