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News Release

Sept. 20, 2023

Northwest alumnus, Eagleville native establishes scholarship for ag, business students

A Northwest Missouri State University alumnus has established a scholarship for agriculture and business students that pays tribute to the education he and his late wife received that paved a path for their successful careers.

Graduates of North Harrison High School in Eagleville, Missouri, and South Harrison High School in Bethany, Missouri, who attend Northwest are now eligible to apply for the Ed and Judy (Bolar) Jones Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded for the first time for the 2024-25 academic year.

“This scholarship is a tribute to the amazing life Ed and Judy shared,” Laurie Long, a senior gift planning officer with Northwest’s Office of University Advancement, said. “Their legacy will continue as their scholarship assists graduates of their high school alma maters. We are grateful for their gift and the opportunities it provides Northwest’s students.”

In addition to graduates of North Harrison or South Harrison high schools, preference for the scholarship will be given to students pursuing majors in Northwest’s School of Agricultural Sciences. Students pursuing majors in the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business also may be considered for the scholarship.

Judy and Ed Jones

Judy and Ed Jones

“I hope it gives people in local schools an opportunity to go on to college and obtain a college education that can broaden their experience and let them have the opportunity that Judy and I did over our working careers,” said Ed, who opted to fund the scholarship through an individual retirement account with a qualified charitable distribution. “We can set an example for younger people to see that – coming from a small community – if you work hard and get an education, you do have opportunities.”

In addition to becoming the first in Eagleville to attain the Eagle Scout rank as a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Ed was president of his FFA chapter and captain of the basketball team at North Harrison High School, where he graduated in 1956. He then earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and business from Northwest in 1960. As a Northwest student, he was vice president of the Missouri FFA Association during his freshman year and was a member of the agriculture club and Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity in addition to volunteering for Alpha Phi Omega, a service organization.

Some of Ed’s fondest memories at Northwest, he says, also include learning about the agriculture field from respected faculty of the time, including R.T. Wright and F.B. Houghton, while practicing his skills at the University farm, which was then located north of the Administration Building where the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and the Forest Village Apartments stand today.

Although he maintained an interest in agriculture after graduating from Northwest and operated a farm with his parents until the 1970s, Ed launched his career as an adjuster with American Family Insurance in Kansas City.

It was in 1962 that Ed met and married Judy, a 1957 graduate of South Harrison High School, where she had been a senior class treasurer, played saxophone in the school band, served on the editorial staff for the yearbook, and participated in the booster and drama clubs. After attending the University of Central Missouri, Judy had become the executive assistant to the chief executive officer of the Burns and McDonnell engineering firm in Kansas City.

From there, Ed’s 35-year career with American Family Insurance took the Jones family to Phoenix and then to Chicago, where he retired in 2000 as a regional claims manager, having oversight of 500 employees, nine offices and operations in three states. Judy continued her career as an office manager for engineering firm Sargent and Lundy in Phoenix and held similar roles in Chicago before retiring.

The couple raised two sons and were married for nearly 60 years before Judy’s passing in 2021.

Reflecting on their careers, Ed is grateful for the opportunities he and Judy enjoyed because of their college coursework and the practical experience it provided. The education also helped Ed develop his strength in administration and shaping organizations.  

“It gave me a basic foundation, and I always thought that – as I went on and went into management with American Family – having a college background gives you more objectivity about approaching things,” Ed said. “It gave me a bigger view and a better objective of how to approach things and work with people.”

The Ed and Judy (Bolar) Jones Scholarship fund remains open to accept future contributions from donors. To contribute to the scholarship or give to other Northwest initiatives, visit or contact Northwest’s Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215