OCU's 2014 Commencement Ceremonies - 10:00 AM, Saturday, May 3rd
Ohio Christian University presents the class of 2014 in its 65th Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 3rd at 10 AM EST.
This year's commencement speaker is Bill Jones, CEO of Jones Petroleum Company (Jackson, Georgia), teacher, coach, school superintendent, and four-term Georgia State Representative. OCU will be recognizing Jones for his life of distinguished Christian service by awarding him a Doctorate of Christian Leadership.
Honorary Doctorate of Christian Leadership to Mr. Bill Jones
Mr. Jones is a lifetime contributor to the local Butts County, Georgia, economy beginning by working on his family’s farm and as a local paper delivery boy.
After graduating from Jackson High School, he went on to earn his Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters of Education Degrees from the University of Georgia. Once out of college, he returned to Butts County and began his professional career as a teacher and coach in the Butts County School System. A few years later, Mr. Jones was elected as the School Superintendent at the age of 23, the youngest individual to serve in the state’s history.
Mr. Jones later earned his Bachelor of Law Degree from Atlanta Law School, served 4 terms as a Georgia State Representative. He started what is today known as Jones Petroleum Company with the opening of a single convenience store on April 4, 1968.
As an innovative and true entrepreneur, Mr. Jones has turned Jones Petroleum Company from a one store operation to a company that currently employees approximately 450 employees, covers several industry types, and is headquartered in Jackson, GA. Some of the branches of Jones Petroleum that help support the local economy include Jackson Piggly Wiggly, Jones Discounted Propane, Stark Road Marathon, Highway 36 Superette, and the Stark BP. These businesses have helped aid in the development of Butts County’s economy providing retail outlets and employment for community members.
Jones Petroleum Company not only contributes to the local economy but to the state’s economy as well. The company currently serves hundreds of gasoline outlets and customers across the state of Georgia as well as South Carolina and North Carolina with fuel and propane. Operations include businesses under the franchise names of Piggly Wiggly, Dunkin Donut, Subway, and Dairy Queen, as well as many convenience stores across central and north Georgia.
Mr. Jones is married to Martha Saunders Jones and has three children: Bryan Jones, Natalie Jones and Burt Jones, Senator of the 25th District. He is the grandfather of Brooks, Bennett, Stella and Banks Jones. He attends Rock Springs Church and is a member of Partners for Smart Growth, Jackson Rotary Club and a member of the Butts County Chamber of Commerce since it began. He is an active contributor to various charities such as the Jones Family Fund Foundation, Inc., the Gordon College through the Jones-Story Fund, Southern Crescent Technical College, Rock Springs Christian Academy, Boys Scouts of America, and various churches and other organizations.