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Summer Edition
Volume 100, Number 1

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From students to professionals

A big persona and large vision captained the ship

By Randy Ness ’77

Messiah College director of volunteer and church relations

I vividly remember my first meeting with Cliff Jones. It was around 1987 or 1988 and Cliff was then the President of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. At the time I was Messiah’s new director of cooperative education and internships. I was responding to a request from Cliff to begin an internship program with the Chamber. 

I was particularly intrigued with his office set-up. Cliff was the only person that I ever met who never sat at a desk, but stood at an elevated work table. He was also the first administrator I encountered who used a head-set phone so that he was free to work or pace around the office as he spoke on the phone. He impressed me as a captain in charge of his ship. 

My respect for Cliff Jones only grew through the years as we provided interns to the Chamber. He would take raw, oftentimes immature college students and turn them into bright young professionals. Many of them found Cliff demanding but fair. In addition, Cliff mentored many interns by taking a personal interest in their development and doing all he could to empower them in preparation for the sometimes prickly world of business and politics. 

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