An athlete and graduate of Alabama State College, Dr. John H. Jones served as a professor of freshman English and Education for more than twenty years. Dr. Jones dedicated his life to promoting physical performance and to cultivating the intellectual potential of his students. He also collected
audio and visual materials that chronicle over seventy years of Alabama State University history.
This native of New Jersey, and high school sports and music phoneme, made his way to Alabama State College during the early years of the Depression. At that time Dave Albritton, a medallist in
the 1936 Olympics served as the school’s track coach. Jones ran track under Albritton and enjoyed success as a collegiate sprinter and high jumper. However, the outbreak of World War II and an induction into the United States Army, interrupted Jones’ education. After the war Jones returned
to Alabama State where he represented the college at the Melrose Games in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Jones also jumped to a first place finish at the Penn Relays and he competed in the Drake Relays at Marquette University. The track star performed well at home also, as he won gold
in the high jump and silver in a sprint relay at the second Alabama State Relays.
Life at Alabama State University
Dr. Jones was able to cultivate a full and rewarding life at Alabama State. The school provided the backdrop for John Jones to meet his future wife, Faustina. Students at the college also worked under Dr. Jones’ direction
in the Sunday school program, the library workshop, as well as academic and remedial programs.
For thirteen years, between 1948 and 1961 Dr. Jones served as head coach of Alabama State’s track team. Dr. Jones was recognized for his commitment and accomplishments with a 1993 induction into
the SWAC Hall of Fame. Former track students also demonstrated their appreciation by organizing the John H. Jones Scholarship for Freshman English and Public Speaking majors. The award is presented each year to a freshman student who plans to major in English.
A consummate athlete, Dr. Jones
shifted gears in the early 1980s and became a member of the Eastdale Mall Ice Skating Club. In 1985 he won four gold medals and one silver, as he competed in five events at the United States Recreational Team Championships.
During his tenure at Alabama State Dr. Jones picked up a love for photography. For over thirty years this college professor captured campus life through the lens of his camera. Jones was an avid photograph collector also. Both through the pictures that he shot and the images that he collected,
Jones has captured events, people, and activities that if not for his foresight, would have been lost to the ages.
The John Jones collection also includes medals from the Alabama State College Relays, various audio recordings, and memorabilia from sporting activities and general life in and around Alabama State University.