Westminster College to Conduct Two Tree-Planting Ceremonies in Honor of Generous Gift From a Trust Created by Edward D. “Ted” Jones, Jr.


Fulton, Mo. – April 18, 2024: The public is cordially invited to attend two Westminster ceremonies that will take place next week in honor of Earth Day in recognition of a generous gift from a trust created by Edward D. “Ted” Jones, Jr.

About the Campus and Katy Trail Recognition Ceremonies

The Edward Jones Campus Recognition Ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 22, on the Hill adjacent to Davidson Leadership Plaza off of Lamkin Drive.

The Edward Jones Katy Trail Recognition Ceremony will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, approximately 20 miles south of campus, at the Tebbetts, Missouri, Trail Head along the Katy Trail.

During the campus Earth Day celebration, students, faculty and staff will plant one of the Jones’ favorite trees — a Bur oak — followed by a tree-blessing ceremony by Chaplain Logan John and the dedication of a commemorative bench that will be placed adjacent to the newly planted tree.

The Katy Trail ceremony will feature a variety of trees planted by students: Numerous Swamp white oaks, Northern red oaks, Hackberries, Sycamores, Kentucky coffee trees and Eastern cottonwoods will cheerfully adorn the Katy Trail following the students’ efforts on April 27.

All trees for both ceremonies will be generously provided by Forest Releaf of St. Louis, Missouri.

About Edward D. “Ted” Jones, Jr.

During his lifetime, Edward D. “Ted” Jones, Jr., was noted for his devotion to his wife, the Missouri outdoors and his dogs, as well as a few close friends ― including Westminster. A generous gift from a trust created by Jones more than 30 years ago is even more evidence of his enduring relationship with the College.

“On behalf of our entire college community, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Ted Jones Trust for this significant gift,” said Donald P. Lofe, Jr., President and Chief Transformation Officer of Westminster College. “We are very much looking forward to recognizing his extreme generosity next week.”

The ceremonies will be fitting celebrations of the man who is a household name in Missouri for his $2.2 million donation to what became a magnificent, 240-mile public trail along the Missouri River. The Katy Trail famously makes use of the abandoned Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway, allowing future generations to experience the beauty of rural Missouri.

Dan Burkhardt, spokesperson for the trustees of the Ted Jones estate, said the former partner and CEO of Edward Jones & Co. (later known as Edward Jones Investments) was known for remembering the people and organizations that impacted his life. Westminster was among those close associates.

“By the time he died in 1990, Edward Jones was a large company, but Ted never forgot the remarkable Westminster graduates who came to work for him during the early years of the company’s growth,” explained Burkhardt, who was a close personal friend of Jones and his wife, Hilda “Pat” Jones. “This gift that Ted planned 34 years ago reflects his appreciation.”

Jones’ relationship with Westminster lives on in other ways: through students and alumni who continue to intern or work for Edward Jones Investments as well as through the generous contributions he made to Mueller Leadership Hall, where the Ted Jones Dining Room on the north side of the facility is located. Well-regarded on campus as one of the best places for intimate dining experiences, the room is also often a first choice for important meetings because of its dignified, tasteful design.

Additionally, Jones’ legacy to the natural world, young people and Westminster College were blended together in a powerful way after his death. In 1997, Pat donated part of the couple’s beloved Williamsburg, Missouri, farm to the state to create the Prairie Fork Conservation Area, where numerous Westminster students have studied the natural sciences for more than two decades. Related to that initiative, Pat was responsible for launching the Westminster STEM Academy Program in 2015 followed by additional funding for a STEM Academy Scholarship.

A friend to America’s National Churchill Museum on campus and other Westminster initiatives, Pat remained generous to the College until she passed away in 2018.

“The Joneses’ substantial contributions to the Missouri Department of Conservation are too numerous to list here. As the Jones’ often put it, they adopted the entire state of Missouri because they didn’t have children of their own,” Lofe reflected, adding, “Westminster College is honored to be a small part of the Jones legacy.”

ABOUT WESTMINSTER COLLEGE: Founded in 1851 and home of Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech, Westminster College is ranked prestigiously by The Princeton Review as one of the “Best 150 colleges in the Midwest” for 2024. New graduates experience a more than 90% placement rate within six months of graduation, while Westminster alumni are in the top 16% nationwide for graduate earnings. The only National Liberal Arts college in Missouri, Westminster has long been recognized for its focus on educating and inspiring students to make an impact on the world around them. Find out more about Westminster College by visiting our website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Sarah Backer at 573-220-9038 or Sarah.Backer@WCMO.edu.


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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.