Centre College announces new Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

by Matt Overing

A two-story brick building with white columns is fronted by a small lawn and a sidewalk

Centre College is pleased to announce Dr. Anthony E. Jones as its new Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.

Jones will join Centre July 1 from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, where he currently serves as Chief Diversity Officer.

Dr. Anthony Jones
Dr. Anthony Jones

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Anthony Jones as our new Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at the College, said Centre President Milton Moreland. “Dr. Jones brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all students. His leadership will be instrumental in advancing our mission to ensure every student feels valued, respected, and empowered to succeed.”

 Jones, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, earned a bachelor’s degree in art and information systems from Mount Union College, now the University of Mount Union. A first-generation scholar, Jones’ education continued at Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees.

“I’m thrilled to join Centre College and lay out ideas and work collaboratively to see them come to life,” Jones said. “My family and I are eager to place roots in Danville, to connect with faculty, staff and students, and meet with community leaders.”

Jones joins the College after an exhaustive national search.

"Dr. Jones rose to the top of a tremendous pool of applicants and will be a great addition to Centre College," said Barbara LoMonaco, vice president for student life and chair of the search committee. “I applaud the hard work of the faculty, staff and student who served on the search committee, who were dedicated to creating a search process with broad community participation and feedback."

Every step in Jones’ journey has been about connection — from his work as a hall director at Virginia Commonwealth University to leading diversity and inclusion and multicultural affairs as associate dean at Thiel College. He has worn many hats, but he said his philosophy is to always keep people first.

“I support civil discourse, I don’t think we need to always agree on challenging issues — I think that is actually what makes us beautiful as a people,” Jones said. “I think there’s a lot to be learned from different perspectives, if we can listen intentionally. I encourage those I serve to listen — not just to respond, but to first seek a deeper understanding.”

Jones acknowledged the challenges facing higher education institutions across the nation and said that he’s eager continue his work at Centre.

“I’m excited because of the individuals I’ve already touched base with,” he said. “I’m eager to meet with student affinity group leaders and hear their concerns and get to work on solutions. I also want to see what things are going well and how we can continue to improve on those particular situations.

Jones’ perspective shifted in his first year of college at Mount Union when he met Dr. LaTashia Reedus, then the director of multicultural student affairs at the college. He promised his parents one semester at college — but Reedus connected him with other students on campus and motivated him to stay.

“I model a lot of how I carry myself from her, a genuine and real perspective of how to listen and support people,” Jones said. “Later in college, it clicked that what Dr. Reedus was doing is a profession. It just seemed so natural for her, and it was at that point I decided I wanted to go into higher education. In as much as I feel I owe Dr. Reedus, the only thing she has ever asked of me was to pay it forward and I have spent my life doing just that.”

Jones is the son of Lena and Anthony D. Jones and will move to Danville with his wife and 1-year-old daughter.

“I always found myself feeling very at home in the state of Kentucky,” he said. “Being on campus, meeting the ODI staff and the College leadership team, students and community members, Centre felt like something I truly wanted to be a part of. I’m eager to work at a place with people who truly care about and support each other through a lens of understanding the work we have to do.”