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NMSU to award Las Cruces businessman honorary doctorate

New Mexico State University will recognize Royal Jones with an honorary doctorate during the spring 2015 commencement ceremony May 9.

Two men standing ? one holding a plaque.
Las Cruces businessman Royal Jones, left, with New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers, will receive an honorary doctorate degree from NMSU during the spring 2015 commencement ceremony on May 9 for his contributions to NMSU and his community. (NMSU photo)

Jones, an entrepreneur and philanthropist from Las Cruces, is the owner of more than 14 companies, including Mesilla Valley Transportation, and employs more than 2,500 people.

?Royal is a true entrepreneur. He started with two semi-trucks and now owns a fleet, as well as two dealerships,? said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. ?He is strongly committed to NMSU and, in particular, to providing the resources needed for student athletes to be the most competitive in intercollegiate athletics.?

He has supported NMSU for more than 25 years by mentoring students, showing up for football practice, where he encourages student-athletes, and personally funding a number of initiatives across campus.

Jones has generously given to major NMSU projects such as Pan American Center seating and the renovation of the Coca-Cola Weight Training Center. The Coca-Cola Center is a resource that helps all 17 athletics teams remain competitive on the field and boosts recruitment efforts.

The entrepreneur also takes time to mentor young professionals in the Las Cruces area.