HONORING THE PAST WITH
GIFTS FOR THE FUTURE
If you’ve seen the films “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Batman Returns,” “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” or TNT Network’s popular television show “Falling Skies,” you’ve seen Doug Jones. He is a versatile Hollywood actor who often finds himself behind masks or heavy make-up, playing fantasy characters in dozens of films.
Recently, Doug and his wife, Laurie, decided to fund an endowed scholarship at Asbury University in memory of his grandfather, Dr. Ezra “E.T.” Franklin, and Doug’s mother, Miriam. Though Doug and Laurie are both graduates of a different university, his family has a long history at Asbury.
In addition to his grandfather, three great uncles and a great aunt are Asbury alumni. On a visit to campus, Doug sought out their photos in the basement of Hughes Auditorium and recounted the story of how his grandfather graduated from Asbury College in 1903, and after further education returned to Asbury to fill the position of what, today, would be the position of Academic Dean. The great uncles all became Methodist ministers.
In order to honor this family legacy, Doug and Laurie have established the Doug Jones Scholarship for Cinema and Theatre Performance. This scholarship will be awarded annually to Asbury students who dream of acting professionally and who choose to begin pursuing their dreams at the university level. Doug loves to interact with young actors and encourage them in their craft. Asbury students attending a semester in Hollywood have heard him share from his experiences and he hopes to be able to serve as a mentor to the recipients of the scholarship.
When Doug was first starting out, he ran into some challenges. During this time, an actor by the name of Armand Cerami, best known for his role in the film “Blues Brothers,” took Jones out to lunch and picked up the check. Cerami was more experienced and was able to give Jones both artistic advice and encouragement. Jones recounted that during this short lunch meeting, he felt very well taken care of. He would always say, “Whenever I get to that position, I want people who are with me — for even an hour or two — to feel taken care of.”
Through the endowed scholarship, the Jones’ hope to help young actors succeed, but more specifically hope to encourage people of faith to enter the world of media. “It is not only the family legacy that keeps my heart tied to Asbury,” Doug said, “but also the Christian community.” Having witnessed the faith and talent of Asbury students, he believes they are able to become culture-changers for Christ.