Daryl Parks, a Tallahassee, Fla., attorney who was one of the lawyers for Trayvon Martin’s family, was a recent guest of the Bainbridge State College Honors Program.
Studying a theme of race and racism for the academic year, the Bainbridge State Honors Program consists of 17 talented students who engaged Parks in a frank and honest discussion about the teenager’s death in Sanford, Fla., in February 2012.
Following the meeting, Parks gave a generous donation to the Ernie Jones Scholarship while Rosalyn Jones, Mr. Jones’ widow, and Ernie Jones Jr., one of Mr. Jones’ children, were present.
The late Ernie Jones was a beloved Bainbridge State dean of Student Affairs for 16 years until his death in 1998 of cancer. Parks is a former Florida A&M University Student Government Association president, which is when he became friends with Mr. Jones while the two were involved in the Association of College Unions-International (ACU-I).
Parks accepts speaking engagements from all over the world, and he receives invitations all over the country. He accepted the College Honors Program’s invitation because of the fond memories he had of Mr. Jones.
Dr. Michael Kirkland, director of the Honors Program and an associate professor of history and humanities at Bainbridge State, said Mr. Jones was a great mentor while Dr. Kirkland was a Bainbridge State student. Dr. Kirkland served as president of the College’s Student Government Association and as captain of the College Bowl Team, where he developed a special friendship with Mr. Jones.
“Ernie Jones was a great mentor and friend,” Dr. Kirkland said. “He had a far-reaching impact on students, including myself here at Bainbridge State, and even on someone like Mr. Parks, who attended another university. Ernie changed lives.”
Jones is credited with positively influencing the lives of many students during his 16-year tenure, often saying that Bainbridge State was a “special place.” The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia awarded Mr. Jones the Appreciation Award for his outstanding support and service to the System’s Minority Advising program.
Rosalyn Jones, widow of Mr. Jones, created The Ernie Jones Scholarship after his death in 1998. A student who is active in the Student Government Association or the Minority Affairs Program is eligible to receive the scholarship, and if you would like to continue Mr. Jones’ legacy by contributing to the Ernie Jones Scholarship, please contact the College’s Office of Institutional Advancement, 2500 E. Shotwell St., Bainbridge, GA 39819, (229) 243-6428.