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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb Awards Tom Jones as a Sagamore of the Wabash at Annual Silent Night Game

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three men pose with framed award at basketball game

Upland, Indiana—Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb accorded retiring Taylor University faculty member and administrator Dr. Thomas Jones with the State of Indiana’s highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash.

Holcomb presented the award to Jones at halftime of Taylor’s annual Silent Night basketball game at Odle Arena in Upland on Friday, December 10.

Jones, who has served in various capacities at Taylor for nearly 40 years, most recently served as Interim Provost, a role he accepted last spring after serving as Dean for the School of Arts and Humanities.

“As a lifelong Hoosier and student of history, Tom's knowledge of Indiana and the people who call it home is not only vast but dotted by an incalculable number of personal connections,” said Taylor’s President, D. Michael Lindsay, PhD. “It is those personal connections that have enhanced Tom’s service at Taylor University—from his relationships with generations of students to the numerous faculty members with whom he has served."

“Perhaps the deepest connections Tom shares with people who call Indiana home, however, came through the 53 years he served as pastor at Fairmount's Center Christian Church,” Lindsay added. “Dating back to his sophomore year in college, Tom blessed the people of that congregation by sharing the Word of God with them each week, as well as presiding over the weddings of their children and the funerals for their loved ones.”

It marks the second time Holcomb has taken part in Taylor’s Silent Night game, where students pack Odle Arena clad in various costumes and sit silently until Taylor’s men’s basketball team scores the 10th point, at which time the students erupt in cheering and storm the court.