RU community saddened by passing of beloved faculty member


Dr. Joe Jones, chair of the department of philosophy and religious studies.

The Radford University community mourns the death of Dr. Joe Jones, chair of the department of philosophy and religious studies. Jones, 65, died on Tuesday after a short illness.

"Dr. Jones was a consummate professional and highly valued member of the RU faculty," said President Penelope W. Kyle in a condolence message shared with the RU community. "He was a dedicated teacher and scholar with a deep interest in the success of his students. He will be missed by our faculty, staff, students and alumni."

Dr. Jones joined Radford University in August 2011 as the department chair after a diverse tenure at Barton College. He served there as: assistant professor, associate professor, professor, faculty honors program coordinator, director of international study and chair of the department of religion and philosophy.

"Joe was both respected and beloved. He was a colleague who was fully engaged in the life of the department, college and university," said Dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Kate Hawkins. "His positive influence on all around him was transformative and profound."

Hawkins called Jones' leadership of the collaborative effort between Radford University and Jefferson College of Health Services to establish a post-baccalaureate certificate in bioethics "visionary." She added that the pioneering collaborative initiative to enhance modern health care delivery with contemporary ethical considerations was just one of his many lasting contributions to the community.

Jones was a United States Air Force veteran with service in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. After his military service, he pursued his academic interests and career, graduating with a B.A. (cum laude) from Armstrong State College, an M.A. in philosophy of science from the University of Georgia, followed by an M.A. in philosophy from Florida State University. He capped his academic quest with a Ph.D. in ancient Greek philosophy from Florida State. A member of several professional organizations, Jones was a founding member of The Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World.

"On behalf of the Radford University community, I share our deep condolences with Dr. Jones' wife, Polly, their family and their many friends during this most difficult time," President Kyle said.

Editor's Note: A Celebration of Life service will be held for Dr. Joe Jones on Monday, January 26, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at Mullins Funeral Home, located at 120 West Main Street, Radford, Virginia.

For additional information about the service or directions, please visit

To send a condolence message through the on-line guest book, please visit

Jan 22, 2015