Dr. Robert J. Jones
President, The State University of New York-Albany
Update: More details about FVSU's commencement ceremony are available here.
April 14, 2014 - A Wildcat alum, Grammy-award winning singer and president of one of New York state’s largest universities will be the keynote speaker for Fort Valley State University’s spring commencement.
Dr. Robert J. Jones, who was formally inaugurated as State University of New York – Albany president last year, will deliver the keynote address at the 73rd Spring Commencement at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3, 2014. The scholar is also a former member of the gospel group “The Sounds of Blackness.”
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating approximately 468,000 in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses.
SUNY-Albany’s new president is a proud Wildcat. Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Fort Valley State University. In addition to attending Fort Valley State, Jones earned his Master of Science degree in crop physiology from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri, Columbia. After graduating from Mizzou, Jones joined the University of Minnesota’s faculty as a professor of agronomy and plant genetics.
The Dawson, Ga. native has an extensive career involving plant physiology, scholarship and educational leadership, urban and international development. He has served as the senior vice president for academic administration at the University of Minnesota System.
Jones is a fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. He is a visiting professor and featured speaker in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The leader held a gubernatorial appointment as the Midwestern Higher Education Compact commissioner and served on the board of directors for the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities, the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, and the Bush Foundation, among other leadership roles.
Jones is married to Dr. Lynn Hassan Jones. He has five children and two grandchildren.
Christina D. Milton, writer
Fort Valley State University
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