Donald Jones '76
Dear Dean Rogalski:
Of course I know you're the president, but I just couldn't resist. In my heart you will always be the man that held me in his arms and lead me back to sanity. So… you are still "dean" to me.
I have just found something that belongs to the school that I arranged several years ago but somehow managed to not send. Please find enclosed a copy of the will of my wife, Norma, and me. I have highlighted the portion that is relevant to the school. I fervently wish this were more substantial, but my resources are fairly limited. However, should our circumstances change, you may be assured that we will amend this document to more correctly mirror our gratitude.
While I have grown much over the years, it was at St. Ambrose that I found the restrained parts of myself. Fortunately for me and, perhaps, society, you presented me with the awesome opportunity of becoming a part of the St. Ambrose family. I do not believe there have been many students that passed through her halls that experienced an awakening equal to my own.
I did not have any right to, or expectation of, the privileges that being an Ambrosian had brought me- not only was my mind improved, my being has been elevated. I became (and have been) a much better human being thorough the application of the education and principles given to me there. I have learned to think more productive and efficient ways; possibilities were opened, and closed-minded thinking left behind. My thinking and reasoning have allowed me to better understand, accept and work with diversity in ways I never would have anticipated. To say nothing of becoming able to better understand, accept and work with myself. The very integrity and depth with which I approach life was made more pure. Even the courage to have convictions and the willingness to stand up for them was taught to me there; principally, because the school taught me to view things in a larger context, to see a larger world with the far greater causes for events and outcomes, and gave me the ability to think for myself. Ambrose wrested a plethora of prejudices from me I did not realize I had. She gave me sight.
Yes, St. Ambrose has stood me in good stead.
Abuse, neglect, circumstance of childhood and fears born of war nearly precluded any possibility of freedom within or for me. Your personal willingness and encouragement were why I was able to make the dream that is an Ambrose education a reality. How you, and many others at the school, were able to tolerate me will forever be an inspiration to me. Without your understanding and acceptance… Well, I'd rather not contemplate that.
Anyway, thank you. Thank you very much.
Donald ('76) and Norma Jones
P.S. It will be 19 years on July 7, 2003.