Glenn's Story

JIU’s founder Glenn R. Jones (read his biography) embodies determination and the entrepreneurial spirit.  Undaunted by his modest beginnings, he was committed to hard work, risk taking, and making the most of every opportunity.  His creation of Jones International University® was fueled by his commitment to make personal and professional success a possibility for every individual, regardless of circumstance. 

The Jones Family (Ruth, Alvin, Viola, Glenn, Neil, Bill, Hap)

Mr. Jones was born in Pennsylvania, to parents who highly valued education, although neither had gone beyond high school.  When Mr. Jones graduated from high school himself, he began working the night shift in a nearby steel mill, until early one morning when his father woke him up and announced that he was taking Glenn to college. That day, his father packed him a bag and drove him to a small school in Ohio.

Mr. Jones graduated from college and shortly thereafter received his draft notice.  After five years in the Navy, specializing as an underwater bomb disposal frogman, Mr. Jones left the service and enrolled in law school.

Glenn Jones served five years in the Navy, specializing as an underwater bomb disposal frogman

After graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1961, Mr. Jones began a law practice whose “office” was in a series of coffee shops in mountain towns.  One day, a friend approached him about representing a cable company, an industry then in its nascence, and the entrepreneur and futurist in him told him that this was a world-changing technology.  He borrowed $400 against his Volkswagen to purchase a small, dysfunctional cable operation in Georgetown, Colo., and by the time he sold the company —Jones Intercable—in 1999, it was one of the ten largest cable operators in the United States.

His passion for education, and personal experience of its power, was never far from Mr. Jones’ mind.  In 1987, as his cable empire continued to expand, he coupled his expertise in communications technology with his desire to “democratize” education by making it as widely available as possible.  The result was Mind Extension University (ME/U), a cable channel devoted exclusively to the provision of K-12 and, eventually, college courses.

With the advancement of Internet technology, Mr. Jones envisioned a way to extend education’s reach globally, and became a pioneer in the field of online education.  He founded Jones International University (JIU®) in 1993 to enable students to learn from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Jones Intercable—in 1999, it was one of the ten largest cable operators in the United States

In March 1999, JIU became the first fully online university to receive regional accreditation, the highest accreditation a university in the U.S. can be granted.  It was in 1994 that Mr. Jones was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. A decade later, in 2004, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the United States Distance Learning Association for his leadership in the advancement of online education.  In 2005, Mr. Jones was distinguished once again when he was inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame.

Jones International University building

Mr. Jones helped other universities benefit from his pioneering in Internet-based education. He founded Jones e-education: Software Standard® (JESS), a groundbreaking online course management and delivery platform, and Jones eGlobal Library®, an entirely virtual library originally created to support JIU faculty and students.  Both have been made available for license by universities, corporations, and individuals.