KEMPER HALL OF FAME

Mr. Denver D. Jones

"That which we do for others in service to our fellow man is, by its nature, noble. Find the greatest joy within yourself when you arrive at the end of your days and can say, ‘I gave it my best effort!’"

Denver D. Jones came to Kemper in 1944 from a small town in Oklahoma and graduated in 1947. He was an unassuming cadet but absorbed the atmosphere, discipline and way of life like few other cadets before or after him. Jones left Kemper and attended the University of Oklahoma, later beginning a career of building leading businesses in the private sector. Denver headed Drake Enterprises and was a prominent community leader in his native state and Arkansas.

He so loved Kemper that, when he returned for his fiftieth class reunion, he resolved to rebuild and reenergize the school. Jones saw the task before him as the school faltered, but never let down his relentless attacks on waste and mismanagement. Denver donated huge sums of money toward efforts to save the school but, more than that, he loved the cadets! Deeply religious, Denver prayed, often alone, for divine guidance to help him manage in the last days of the school.

When Kemper did close it was Denver Jones who insisted that bonds of friendship were too strong to be lost in the acrid dust of decaying brick and mortar. Denver Jones founded a fledgling organization, Echo Company, infused it with hope, determination, and humor and guided it for the last years of his life. Certainly all those who knew Denver Jones may rightfully say, "He gave it his best effort!"

"Deeply missed by the Kemper Corps of Old Boys."