His story was perfect for the evening.
As the crowd of 300 made their way to their seats inside the Cintas Center in late September, Damon Jones served as host for the night, helping to unveil Together. For Others. The Campaign for Xavier University, which challenges all of us to help raise $250 million to ensure Xavier’s success for years to come.
Jones, a native of Detroit, never thought of attending Xavier until a friendly admissions counselor struck up a conversation at a college fair. Now he is helping launch a major campaign for his university.
“It was a warm August day, a Friday I do believe,” he told the crowd. “A bit excited and a bit fearful, young and fresh-faced, I pulled up to Ledgewood Avenue, not sure what to expect from this next phase. After all, choosing Xavier, at the time, was the biggest life decision I’d ever made.”
Was he ready? Did he make the right choice? It didn’t take long for Jones to fit in. He was elected to the Student Government Association as a freshman, became vice president the following year and served as president as both a junior and senior. He was also a resident assistant in Brockman Hall for a year and became involved with College Friends, a mentoring program pairing University students with children from surrounding communities.
“Four years later, I walked across the stage at graduation,” he said. “All I had in my hands at the time was a piece of paper, but there was more, much more in both my head and heart. Intellectually, morally and spiritually—yes, I was indeed prepared to take my place in a rapidly changing world.”
He graduated in 1997 with a degree in Communication Arts and Electronic Media and was immediately hired at Procter & Gamble. Over the years he moved up the corporate ladder and now serves as Director of Global Company Communications. Along the way, he kept serving his alma mater, eventually being named to the Board of Trustees.
But why does he keep giving back?
“I didn’t know it, until faced with a personal or professional challenge … that’s when you know the value of a Xavier education,” he said. “As a Xavier alum, I am who I am not because Xavier taught me to be. As a Xavier alum, I am who I am because Xavier taught me the importance of being.”
He talked about how Xavier challenged his intellect and strengthened his spirit. He reflected on how he learned life wasn’t about “me.” It was about “we.”
“What we could accomplish when we stand shoulder to shoulder, side by side, in solidarity and in service to one another,” he said. “What we could accomplish together when instead of standing by and saying, ‘Not my problem,’ we lend a helping hand.
“When we care for the least among us, and those that don’t look like me,” he continued. “Or talk like me. Or share my same point of view of the world. Or who haven’t shared the same bounty of God’s blessings.
“What could we accomplish together? For others? That is what tonight is about. That is what Xavier is about. That is what we are all about.”
Who could’ve said it better?
Learn more about the "Together. For Others" campaign and its donors.