The University Record, October 18, 1999

Friends, colleagues, family remember Betty Jean Jones

‘Thank you for finding so many ways to honor my sister,’ Anita Jones told family members, colleagues and students who gathered last Thursday in remembrance of Betty Jean Jones. Jones was associate dean of the Graduate School and professor of theatre at the time of her death in 1997. She died in a plane crash Jan. 9, 1997, on a return flight from a conference in Las Vegas.

‘We knew she was special,’ Jones continued, ‘we just didn’t know so many other people knew it, too.’

The dedication ceremony in memory of Betty Jean Jones took place on the west lawn of the Rackham Building, in front of a Kwanzan flowering cherry tree that had been planted as a memorial.

‘I never met her face to face,’ said Dominique Morisseau, recipient of the Betty Jean Jones Scholarship. ‘But I met her spirit-to-spirit last year,’ she told listeners in a voice filled with emotion.

The building-length mural in the Rackham Building, created by students in the School of Art and Design, takes material from interviews with people who knew Betty Jean Jones well, and captures her spirit, energy and love in three elements. ‘Come in when there are no people here and walk the length of the mural,’ urged Mark Pomilio, adjunct assistant professor of art and coordinator of the mural project, speaking to the Jones family. ‘People who knew Betty Jean have told us that it is a very moving experience.’
Jones (at left) examining the mural located in the Rackham Building.
Photos by Bob Kalmbach