James (Jim) Jones ’86 and Louise Wimberly ’49, both of Bolivar, will receive honorary doctorates from Southwest Baptist University during the annual Founders’ Day chapel service at 10 a.m. Monday, March 16, in Pike Auditorium.
SBU awards honorary doctorates annually to recognize outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to society and to kingdom work.
James Gatlin Jones ’86
Jones was born and raised in southwest Missouri and graduated from SBU in 1986 with a double major in economics and business. He earned an M.B.A. at the University of Arkansas in 1987.
His professional career began at Metropolitan Life in Springfield, Mo. In 1992, Jim returned to SBU to join the College of Business and Computer Science faculty. During his tenure at SBU, he was the recipient of the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award, served as secretary/treasurer of Faculty Senate and served as faculty adviser for Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise) for four years.
Jones founded Sterling Investment Advisers LLC in Bolivar in 1995 and began working full time in the business in 2000. He serves as the president and portfolio manager of the company. He holds professional designations as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), 1994, and chartered life underwriter (CLU) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC), 1989, the two latter designations conferred by the American College, Bryn Mawr, Pa.
In 2010, Jim received the Donald Tuttle Excellence in Grading Award, and in 2008, the C. Stewart Sheppard Award, CFA Institute. Jim is a current member of the CFA Institute CEO Search Committee. He has served as a CFA Exam Grader since 1995; served on the Board of Governors, CFA Institute, in 2010 and 2013 and chaired the CFA Institute Board of Governors Planning Committee in 2012.
Jim and his wife, Cheri (Leonard) Jones ’85, have been married for 28 years and have two daughters: Alexandra and Ashton Rutherford. Jim and Cheri are active members of First Baptist Church of Bolivar.
Louise Wimberly ’49
Louise Wimberly was born in Bolivar in 1928, one of five children born to Otis and Grace Wimberly. After graduation from Bolivar High School in 1946, she went to work at the “Bolivar Free Press,” the local Republican newspaper, as a copy reader and officer worker for 25 cents an hour. Wimberly left the newspaper to attend Southwest Baptist College, graduating with an associate of arts degree in 1949. During her time at SWBC, she played on the women’s basketball team, was a member of the band and the “Omnibus” staff, which at that time, had two staff groups known as The Purple and The White.
After receiving her college degree, Wimberly worked for the Polk County Treasurer for a brief time. Her next job was working as an office worker at Bolivar Wholesale Grocery Co. A few years later, she was asked by the then pastor of First Baptist Church of Bolivar, Knox Lambert, to join the FBC staff , which she did in 1954. FBC is where Louise invested the remainder of her professional career until she retired in 1993.
While working full time at the church, Wimberly found time to invest in the community of Bolivar. One of her outreach projects, which continues today, is mowing lawns for Bolivar residents who are unable to maintain them. Also, for more than a decade, she spent her Sunday afternoons picking up trash on the square and the surrounding blocks immediately off the square. The sheriff of Bolivar asked Wimberly if a prisoner could assist her on Sunday afternoons, and she viewed this as another opportunity to minister. Today, she still cares for a three-block area near her home.
In 1997, a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was formed in Bolivar, and Wimberly is a charter member. Also, she was a member of the local Bolivar civic club known as Twenty Club. In 1996 she received the Life Service Award at SBU, and in 2007, was awarded the prestigious Bolivar Civic Service Award.
When Louise isn’t performing an act of love for or visiting one of her numerous friends, she enjoys reading, crosswords, cross stich and needle point. She has been a member of First Baptist Church of Bolivar since she was a teenager.
Founders’ Day chapel is open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Brad Johnson, vice president of university relations, at (417) 328-1805.