Congressman Luke Messer

Representing the 6th District of Indiana

Rep. Messer Honors Life of Stan Jones in Congressional Record

Feb 7, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Messer Honors Life of Stan Jones in Congressional Record

WASHINGTON (Feb. 7, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) honored the life of Indiana’s Stan Jones with a Congressional Record entry on Monday, following Jones’ recent passing.

Stan Jones was the founder of Complete College America, and served as an Indiana State Representative and as the Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education for 12 years –spanning four different governors from different political parties.

Messer described Mr. Jones as “a policy leader who dedicated his life to providing better educational opportunities for Hoosier kids."  

Messer also recognized Jones’ work on several landmark education policy initiatives in Indiana, including the 21st Century Scholars program, Indiana’s current community college system, Indiana’s Education Roundtable, the Core 40 college prep curriculum and high school drop-out reforms.

Messer’s full Congressional Record Entry honoring Stan Jones is below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a dear friend of mine - a policy leader who dedicated his life to providing better educational opportunities for Hoosier kids.  His work spanned decades. I am speaking of Indiana's own - Stan Jones. 

Most recently, Stan founded Complete College America in order to build a network of states committed to substantially increasing the number of Americans with a postsecondary credential.

Earlier in his career, Stan was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives at age 24. As a member of both the House Education and State Budget committees, he developed expertise in higher education and higher-education finance. All told, Stan served 16 years in the Indiana state legislature and more than five years as a senior advisor to Governor Evan Bayh. 

His service as Indiana commissioner for higher education spanned 12 years and the tenure of four different governors from both political parties.  As commissioner, he was credited as a primary architect of several landmark education policy initiatives in Indiana. These initiatives included the 21st Century Scholars program, an early promise scholarship program aimed at increasing the number of low-income students attending and completing a postsecondary education; the development of Indiana’s new community college system; the creation of Indiana’s Education Roundtable; and the implementation of Core 40, a college prep curriculum that has contributed to a significant increase in high school seniors going to college.

Stan was also instrumental in the high school drop-out reform legislation that I authored as a state legislator a decade ago.  Those reforms helped drive Indiana's extraordinary progress with its statewide graduation rate improving to nearly 90% - an almost 20% increase from a decade before.  

It is no exaggeration to say those reform ideas were hatched over cheeseburgers and fries at Loughmiller's Pub & Eatery right across from the Indiana State Capitol.  And truth be told, Stan had the ideas, and I simply worked to implement them. 

Another great Hoosier, former champion UCLA basketball head coach John Wooden once said, "it's amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets credit." At his very core, Stan Jones exemplified that ideal!

You will be missed, my friend.”