Dr. L. Gregory Jones and the Rev. Susan Jones expressed their excitement and gratitude to join the Belmont community at a press conference Tuesday morning.
“We have watched Belmont grow in extraordinary ways, and the opportunity to build on that strength, and to move Belmont from strength to strength is a great opportunity that I am humbled to be invited to help participate with in the community,” said Gregory Jones.
The future president gave a glimpse into how he hopes to lead the Belmont community in growth as a “Christ-centered, fiscally-minded educator” and a “traditioned innovator.”
“We want to support the efforts of diversity and inclusion. It’s important for every member of the Belmont community, whatever their background, whatever their priorities, feel that they are a part of the Belmont community,” said Jones.
“That sense of love and embrace and hospitality will be a hallmark of our leadership.”
In response to student concerns of inclusivity within the LGBTQ+ community, he affirmed that these students would be supported in his presidency.
“We really want to welcome them, and make them feel like a part of Belmont. That’s really important to us. We want to get to know them and build trust, and see how we can support and encourage their vocation, their identity and their love.”
Gregory Jones made it clear that these efforts will be collaborative with his wife — who also pledged her commitment to building a more inclusive campus.
“As a first generation college student myself, I am committed especially to Belmont’s programs like Bridges to Belmont that help make the college degree affordable to low-income students because education can make such a difference in our lives,” said Susan Jones.
The couple looks forward to integrating themselves into the Belmont community and playing a role in the students’ educational experience.
“We hope to be visible to students and to engage them. That’s what a university is for. That sense of a student-focus is part of what drew us to Belmont,” said Gregory Jones.
Dr. Bob Fisher voiced his full confidence in the leadership succeeding him and welcomed them into the community.
“We want to be your best cheerleaders, your best friends, we want to support and encourage this process.”
This story written by Kendall Crawford. Photos by Zächariah Neupert.