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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

B. Who?

We all know the B. Jones Center. Any freshman will tell you it’s the building you rush to when you lose your Emory card. Our seniors know it as the location of the Career Center, their second home. And parents will recognize the name as home of the office that fields their frantic financial aid inquiries.

But have you ever wondered who exactly B. Jones was? And why he was special enough to have one of the most important buildings on campus named after him?

It turns out the B. stands for Boisfeuillet. Boisfeuillet attended Emory College in 1934, and stayed here to earn his law degree three years later. In 1946 he came back to work as an assistant professor of political science, dean of administration and vice president of health services. So what job was important enough to finally lure him away from Emory? Turns out President John Kennedy needed him as his special assistant for health and medical affairs. Mr. Jones also stayed on to help President Lyndon Johnson after JFK died. This didn’t stop him from serving on the Emory Board of Trustees, however!

Emory is known world-wide for its accomplishments in medicine and health. Well, B. Jones was the first person to oversee Emory’s medical activities and institutions, and his vision for expanded clinical services and the establishment of dentistry, medicine, and nursing schools directly lead to the creation of The Emory Clinic in 1953.

In his free time he helped shape the legislation that became Medicare. And then he spent a great deal of energy in philanthropy. The Emily and Ernest Woodruff and the Robert W. Woodruff Foundations gave $105 million to Emory during his time as president of both. Imagine how much that would equal today! Sadly Boisfeuillet Jones died in July 2001. But that wasn’t the end of his connection to Emory.

In the words of Gary Hauk 91 PhD, “Generous even in death, he donated his body to the Emory University School of Medicine.”
--Liz Speyer 14C, EAA communications intern

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