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Del. Jay Jones '06 Speaks at Alumni Awards Breakfast

Before the Alumni Awards Breakfast, keynote speaker Del. Jerrauld “Jay” Jones ’06—and this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award—hadn’t spoken in front of so many Oaks since campaigning for sixth-grade Student Government Association treasurer—an election he won. Today, Jones serves as the 89th District representative in the Virginia House of Delegates. Upon assuming this role, he became the youngest current member of the General Assembly.

Jones was honored alongside Collegiate alumni Pamela Crenshaw ’92 and Spencer Tinkham ’11 at the Alumni Awards Breakfast in the Meredith Center for the Arts on April 25, 2018.

Crenshaw, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified and licensed speech-language pathologist, was the recipient of the Alumni Service Award. She is a proud Collegiate parent and was glad to have her parents in attendance for the award ceremony.

Spencer Tinkham ’11 received the Young Alumni Service Award and was recognized for his impeccable talents as a professional sculptor and restoration artist.

Jones took the podium and spoke humbly to upper school students, staff and alumni about how different—he imagines—his high school experience was compared to current students. He started by saying it was “truly an honor” to grace the stage and dove into how much he enjoyed his time as a student.

Before politics, Jones completed his undergraduate studies at the College of William and Mary, where he was a double major in Government and History, and obtained his law degree from the University of Virginia. The Norfolk native returned to Hampton Roads and is currently a partner with Bischoff Martingayle P.C.

When he began campaigning for his seat last year, Jones became disheartened by the mudslinging and fake news. “I was expected to generate noise,” he said of his messaging. “I felt the campaign was about new ideas.” As he sees it, “Instantaneous analysis and a race to the intellectual bottom now pervade our world.” Instead of following in the footsteps of his colleagues and predecessors, Jones made a conscious decision to focus on the way forward rather than criticizing his opponents, a sentiment he wants to foster in the next generation of politicians.

“Serving in the general assembly has taken me back in a way. I find myself aligned with the lessons I learned in my Collegiate days as I work alongside people from different parts of the state who hold different beliefs... and come from wildly different background,” Jones continued. “I learned to listen, think critically, sympathize and become a man.”

When he’s not working, Jones serves as a member of the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Virginia. He is also a board member of Festevents, Ltd., the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation and the Old Dominion University Athletic Foundation’s Next Generation Board.

“You will be fabulous citizens one day. Why not start now?” Jones told students.

To learn more about the Alumni Awards Breakfast and the honorees, please click here.