Billy Mac Jones, former president of Texas State University, died Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007. Jones served as the fifth president of what was then known as Southwest Texas State University for three years from 1969 to 1971.
Jones was born in Abilene April 5, 1925, and was the younger of two sons born to Andy and Faye Barton Jones.
He moved to San Angelo for his freshman year in high school. Upon completion of high school, he attended San Angelo College where he earned the Junior College All-American Honors as a football player. As World War II ended, he returned to San Angelo College after service in the Navy, and at mid-term he was recruited by Vanderbilt University and awarded a football scholarship there.
He married Doris Jane Hudson and they immediately transferred to Vanderbilt. While at Vanderbilt he was inducted into the Tennessee Football Hall of Fame. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1950 and immediately entered George Peabody University where he received his Master’s degree.
He coached basketball at Hillsboro High School for four years, then moved to Middle Tennessee State University in 1954 where he taught history and coached. He then moved his family to Texas A&M where he coached football. In 1959 he joined the faculty at San Angelo College where he remained until moving to Lubbock to pursue his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.
In 1963 he returned to Angelo State University as chairman of the History Department and dean of students. It was at this time that he was awarded the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor award for 1967. During 1967-68 he was on leave to the University of Colorado for a one-year post-doctoral training where he participated in an academic internship to prepare him for a college presidency.
In 1969, he left Angelo State University to serve as the fifth president of Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. He remained in that position from 1969 until 1973, before moving to Memphis where he served as president of Memphis State University for eight years.
In 1998 Memphis State University named a building on campus in his honor – The Billy Mac Jones Advancement Building. Upon retiring from Memphis State University, he moved to Wichita, Kansas where he served as an endowed professor in the College of Business Administration at Wichita State University, holding the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management from 1980-1992.
During his tenure there he authored many biographies of entrepreneurs as well as several textbooks. Dr. Jones wrote 22 books as well as many chapters in other history books.
Services were held in San Angelo on Monday, Oct. 29.