Susan Jones' first "big idea" for an advertising campaign came to her as she was walking from Fisk Hall back to the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house on Judson Avenue. The idea, developed with several peers for her senior campaigns class at the Medill School of Journalism, dealt simply with marketing cigars, but she says of this early project: "Working with that group of smart and highly motivated individuals … was extremely exciting." It was crucial in convincing her that "advertising was definitely the right field" for her.
Jones has never lost this initial enthusiasm for the field, nor has she kept it to herself. Now a tenured professor of marketing at Ferris State University, she tries, she says, "to instill that same excitement and appreciation of teamwork in [her] advertising students today."
Colleagues and students recognize her dedication to teaching; for the past two years, Jones has been selected as a distinguished teacher finalist at Ferris State. In 2007, she earned distinction from the university's Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning for her role as developer and current leader of the university's e-commerce marketing concentration.
The author or editor of more than 25 books, Jones has remained committed to strengthening Northwestern's alumni networks and opening doors for students and recent graduates. A founding member of the Northwestern Club of Western Michigan, she is currently the group's treasurer and is a longtime board member. For seven years she worked with the NAA as a board member and a regional director. She chaired the Alumni Admissions Council in western Michigan for eight years and is currently an interviewer there. A member of the Council of One Hundred and a former member of its Executive Committee, Jones joins the select group of alumnae in mentoring women students and young graduates.
For several years she also held an adjunct professorship in Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program, and in 2007, Medill recognized her professional accomplishments by inducting her into its Hall of Achievement.
In 2002, she became the second woman ever to be named the Charles S. Downs Marketer of the Year, an honor signaling more than three decades of outstanding work in her field, by the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing.
She was the first women ever to earn the Robert Clarke Award from the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation in 1997. The Chicago Association of Direct Marketing honored her with the 1996 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Jones is the mother of W. Shannon Jones (WCAS98, KSM08) and Scott Jones (C02). She lives with her husband, Bill Jones (McC72, KSM75), near Grand Rapids, Mich.