Ben and Ruby Jones of Kannapolis are committed to improving human health. They’re also eager to support an initiative they believe will strengthen their local community.
Those are just a couple of the reasons why the couple recently created a $1 million endowment in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences that will establish a professorship at the Plants for Human Health Institute on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.
The Ben and Ruby Jones Distinguished Professorship will support the work of a researcher investigating diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The UNC system will match that amount with $500,000 to invest $1.5 million into the endowed professorship.
The couple also gave a separate $1 million gift to the David H. Murdock Research Institute that will fund research on neurological diseases.
“I can’t say enough how grateful we are for the generosity and vision of Ben and Ruby Jones,” said Dr. Johnny Wynne, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “This endowed professorship gives the College the opportunity to find a world-class scientist to further our research on human health.”
Ben Jones graduated from the CALS Department of Agronomy (now Crop Science) in 1947 and bought a farm in Cabarrus County that same year. After cultivating the farm for more than 50 years, he sold it in 2006. Jones also was the wastewater treatment plant supervisor for Cannon Mills from 1956 to 1985.
— Suzanne Stanard