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Georgetown College President William Jones

Georgetown College President William Jones talks about growing up in Appalachia, the transformative power of education, his goals for the school, a full-tuition scholarship program for local students, and the state of higher education in Kentucky.
Season 15 Episode 21 Length 27:02 Premiere: 02/16/20

Georgetown College President William Jones on the School’s Tuition Program and Its Mission to Students

Last December, officials at Georgetown College announced a plan that would make higher education available to a generation of Kentucky students who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

The Legacy and Legends program will provide four-year, full-tuition scholarships to high school graduates in Scott, Franklin, Owen, and Casey Counties for the next decade. Students will have to live on campus and pay their own room and board, but academic fees of up $160,000 will be covered by the new scholarship.

“We wanted to create an opportunity to provide even more access to young people to this transformative education that we offer," says Georgetown College President William Jones. “If we can keep more young people closer to home, provide them with an extremely high quality education, I think it makes it more likely that they’re going to end up settling here once they do get their four-year degree.”

Jones is the 25th president of the liberal arts college in Scott County. Started 190 years ago, the school was long affiliated with the Baptist denomination, but now labels itself a Christian institution.

“We're a college, we’re not a church,” says Jones. “Our faculty members have academic freedom.” says Jones.

But he says that doesn’t mean the teachings of Jesus aren’t part of a student’s educational experience at the school.

“You’re going to have conversations about your academic discipline, you’re going to be prepared in a way that’s going to make you highly successful in graduate school or out in the workforce,” Jones continues. “But also you’ll have conversations with faculty members about those things that really matter – about kindness, and about mercy, and about empathy and gratitude – those lessons that I do think come from our Christian tradition and from the scriptures.”

The Benefits of Higher Education

The school boasts an enrollment of about 1,600, which includes students from about 30 states and 20 countries, according to Jones. He says Georgetown is known for strong education- and business-degree programs as well as pre-medical school and pre-law tracks. The college also boasts having had 36 Fulbright Scholars and 5 Rhodes Scholars, and it offers an honors program through Oxford University in England.

“More people in the commonwealth are paying attention now to what we have to offer,” he says. “We’re the number one college in Kentucky for job and graduate school placement two years in a row.”

While tuition costs for public and private universities continue to climb, officials at Georgetown want to make sure their academic offerings remain affordable. Jones encourages all prospective students to complete financial aid applications to see what funding they may be eligible to receive against the normal per-semester "sticker price."

“What you actually see on the website is not always what you’re going to pay,” says Jones.

In addition to the new Legacy and Legends scholarships available to students in counties that have a historic connection to the college, Jones says every student at Georgetown receives some kind of scholarship support, either for academic merit or athletic or artistic talent. He says 40 percent of the students at the school also qualify for federal Pell Grants available to students from low-income families.

Regardless of the out-of-pocket costs the student actually pays, Jones says a college degree remains an excellent investment.

“The latest study… shows that over your lifetime, the difference between a four-year degree and just a high school diploma is about a million dollars worth of earnings on average," says Jones. “Your education at Georgetown is transformative and will help you not only be a great citizen, a great community member, but help you be a wonderful professional as well.”

’You Will Be a College Graduate’

Jones is living proof of the power of education to change a life. He was raised a cardboard-insulated coal shack located at the head of a holler in Whitley County on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. The family didn't get indoor plumbing until Jones was 16 years old, when they moved into a federal housing project in Williamsburg.

“I learned a lot about resiliency, and loyalty, and kindness, and grit,” he says, “and I also learned a lot of what I wanted to have different in my own life.”

Neither of his parents completed school: His mother dropped out in eighth grade when she got married and his father dropped out in ninth grade. But Jones says they both had higher aspirations for their children.

“When I was in third grade... my parents started telling me, ‘You will be a college graduate,’” he says. “They saw it as a way out of poverty, not just financial poverty but also emotional, psychological, spiritual poverty as well.”

But it took more than the firm belief of his parents for Jones to climb the academic ladder. He also credits a range of teachers, coaches, and pastors for pushing him to avoid the same fate as other men in his family who experienced violent premature deaths.

“Society was going to pay for me to either live in prison or go to college, and I’m grateful for the fact that I got to go to college,” says Jones. “I'm also grateful for the ability to live in a society that believes education is important and wants to invest in it.”

Jones received a tuition-free degree from Berea College and then he earned a master’s degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. He held fundraising positions at small schools in Indiana and Virginia, before becoming president of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. Last July, he was named president of Georgetown College. Jones says it’s rewarding to be part of institution that provides a holistic educational experience.

“At Georgetown, we don’t just care that your mind is expanded,” he says. “We want to expand your heart as well, and a heart once expanded can never contract. So to invite people to invest in that kind of transformation is very easy for me.”

In addition to his regular duties, Jones is overseeing a strategic planning process for the school. He says a committee of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members will review options for new academic programs as well as upgrades to the school’s residence halls and athletic facilities. He says Georgetown, like all other institutions of higher education, cannot simply be about dispensing knowledge in an age when virtually all information is instantly available on your smartphone.

“Anything you want to know, you can know, but how are you going to use that knowledge, and what difference is it going to make in your own life and someone else’s life?” says Jones. “Those kinds of conversations are, I think, what a lot of colleges and universities will be focusing on as we go forward.”

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Kentucky Edition host Renee Shaw in a green dress with the logo superimposed over the image along with a CHECK SCHEDULE button.Kentucky Edition host Renee Shaw in a green dress with the set behind her and the logo superimposed over the image along with a CHECK SCHEDULE button.

Season 15 Episodes

UK College of Education Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig

S15 E24 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 03/22/20

Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball/McLeod's Coffee House

S15 E23 Length 27:27 Premiere Date 03/15/20

Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon

S15 E22 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 02/23/20

Georgetown College President William Jones

S15 E21 Length 27:02 Premiere Date 02/16/20

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles

S15 E20 Length 28:52 Premiere Date 02/09/20

Kentucky House Minority Whip Angie Hatton

S15 E19 Length 28:47 Premiere Date 02/02/20

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

S15 E18 Length 28:17 Premiere Date 01/26/20

Secretary of State Michael Adams

S15 E17 Length 28:47 Premiere Date 01/19/20

Kentucky House Minority Floor Leader Joni Jenkins

S15 E16 Length 22:01 Premiere Date 01/12/20

Ashli Watts - Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

S15 E15 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 01/05/20

U.S. Attorney Robert Duncan

S15 E14 Length 27:18 Premiere Date 12/15/19

Inclusivity in Fashion - Frankie Lewis; RaeShanda Johnson

S15 E13 Length 28:52 Premiere Date 11/24/19

Dayna Seelig

S15 E12 Length 26:57 Premiere Date 11/17/19

Rachael Denhollander

S15 E11 Length 26:42 Premiere Date 11/10/19

Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland

S15 E10 Length 26:55 Premiere Date 11/03/19

Alice Allison Dunnigan - Pioneering Journalist

S15 E9 Length 26:37 Premiere Date 10/27/19

Sharon Price and Damon Cobble

S15 E7 Length 27:07 Premiere Date 10/13/19

Terry Brooks - Kentucky Youth Advocates

S15 E6 Length 27:47 Premiere Date 10/06/19

Aaron Thompson - Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

S15 E5 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 09/29/19

Opioid Addiction Response and Research

S15 E3 Length 28:42 Premiere Date 09/15/19

Pastor Edward Palmer

S15 E2 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 09/08/19

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers

S15 E1 Length 28:14 Premiere Date 09/01/19

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Premiered On: 11/17/2017

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Premiered On: 12/15/2017

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Silas House

Premiered On: 01/12/2018

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DV8 Kitchen

Premiered On: 01/19/2018

Renee visits DV8 Kitchen, a restaurant and bakery in Lexington that provides second chance employment opportunities for people in substance recovery who are trying to redirect their lives. She speaks with Rob and Diane Perez about their vision for the restaurant and its support from the community. Renee also talks with employees at the eatery to hear their stories of recovery and how DV8 Kitchen helps them.

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Gerald Smith

Premiered On: 02/09/2018

Dr. Gerald Smith, a history professor at the University of Kentucky and co-editor of "The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia", joins Renee to discuss race relations in honor of Black History Month. Topics include activism around removing Confederate statues, the status of black leadership in Kentucky, and Dr. Smith's thoughts on the needed response from the faith-based community in eradicating racism.

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Phil Wilkins - S11 E43

  • Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 29, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 29, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Tameka Montgomery - S11 E42

  • Monday November 28, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 28, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 28, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 28, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 28, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 28, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dayna Seelig - S15 E12

  • Sunday November 27, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday November 27, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Dominique Wilkins - S11 E41

  • Friday November 25, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 25, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday November 25, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 25, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday November 25, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 25, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

UK President Eli Capilouto - S18 E6

  • Thursday November 24, 2022 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 10:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 9:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 6:30 pm ET on KET
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 5:30 pm CT on KET

Gary Tuggle - S11 E40

  • Thursday November 24, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 24, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dr. Leana Wen - S11 E39

  • Wednesday November 23, 2022 10:29 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:29 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 23, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 23, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 23, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Terrence Walton - S11 E38

  • Tuesday November 22, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 22, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 22, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 22, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 22, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 22, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack - S11 E37

  • Monday November 21, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 21, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 21, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 21, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 21, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 21, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Author Emily Bingham - S18 E11

  • Sunday November 27, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday November 27, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday November 26, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday November 26, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday November 20, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday November 20, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday November 20, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday November 20, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday November 20, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday November 20, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Kimberly Johnson - S11 E36

  • Friday November 18, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 18, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday November 18, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 18, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday November 18, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 18, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Jason Merrick - S11 E35

  • Thursday November 17, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 17, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday November 17, 2022 2:10 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 17, 2022 1:10 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday November 17, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 17, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Fayette County Veterans Treatment Court - S11 E34

  • Wednesday November 16, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 16, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 16, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 16, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 16, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 16, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dr. Lynne Saddler - S11 E33

  • Tuesday November 15, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 15, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 15, 2022 2:25 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 15, 2022 1:25 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 15, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 15, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Scott Hesseltine - S11 E32

  • Monday November 14, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 14, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 14, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 14, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 14, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 14, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Bill Goodman - Kentucky Humanities - S18 E10

  • Sunday November 20, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday November 20, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday November 19, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday November 19, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday November 13, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday November 13, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday November 13, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday November 13, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday November 13, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday November 13, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Jessie Laine Powell - S11 E31

  • Friday November 11, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 11, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Oral Health Care In Kentucky - S11 E30

  • Thursday November 10, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 10, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday November 10, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 10, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kishonna Gray - S11 E29

  • Wednesday November 9, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 9, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 9, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 9, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Gretchen Hunt - S11 E28

  • Tuesday November 8, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 8, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 8, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 8, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 8, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 8, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dr. Erin Frazier - S11 E27

  • Monday November 7, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 7, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 7, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 7, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 7, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday November 7, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Restoring American Democracy - S18 E9

  • Friday November 25, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Friday November 25, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Friday November 25, 2022 10:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 25, 2022 9:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday November 25, 2022 6:30 pm ET on KET
  • Friday November 25, 2022 5:30 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday November 13, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday November 13, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday November 12, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday November 12, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday November 6, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday November 6, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday November 6, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday November 6, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday November 6, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday November 6, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Crystal Wilkinson - S11 E26

  • Friday November 4, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 4, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday November 4, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 4, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday November 4, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday November 4, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Criminal Justice Reform - Cherise Fanno Burdeen - S13 E34

  • Thursday November 3, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 3, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes - S11 E25

  • Thursday November 3, 2022 2:16 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 3, 2022 1:16 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday November 3, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday November 3, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention - S11 E24

  • Wednesday November 2, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 2, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 2, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 2, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

A Tribute to Georgia Davis Powers - S11 E18

  • Tuesday November 1, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 1, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 1, 2022 2:18 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 1, 2022 1:18 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 1, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 1, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Andrew Brennen - S11 E17

  • Monday October 31, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday October 31, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday October 31, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday October 31, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday October 31, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday October 31, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Breast Cancer - S18 E8

  • Sunday November 6, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday November 6, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday November 5, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday November 5, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday October 30, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday October 30, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday October 30, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday October 30, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday October 30, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday October 30, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams - S18 E7

  • Sunday October 30, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday October 30, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday October 29, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday October 29, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Anthony Smith - S11 E16

  • Friday October 28, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 28, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
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