Class of 2024 Graduate Spotlight: Hannah Jones (Gary, Indiana)

Hannah Jones at the Shake Learning Resource Center

April 24, 2024



VINCENNES, Ind. - Hannah Jones embodies the spirit of a Trailblazer through her strong commitment to helping others both in life and beyond. 

As a Dean’s List student, she has left an unforgettable mark on the Vincennes Campus, serving as the president of the Legacy Club, a vital BIPOC student union. Under her leadership, the club has spearheaded impactful events like the Harvest of Knox County Black History, which celebrates the rich heritage of 21st-century black life in Knox County, Indiana, through photography. Beyond her academic achievements, Hannah's compassion shines through in her role as a resident assistant, which includes orchestrating lively events fostering community spirit. From Valentine’s Day game nights to spirited water balloon fights, she creates memorable experiences for her peers who live in Campus Housing.

Hannah Jones helping a fellow student at the residence hall deskHannah will proudly walk across the stage of the P.E. Complex at Spring Commencement on Saturday, April 27, and will receive an associate degree in Funeral Service Education. Driven by a deep-seated desire to serve others, Hannah aspires to pursue a career as a funeral home professional. She also dreams of serving as a paramedic to further aid others.

As she looks beyond VU, she is committed to effecting positive change in her community. Her journey at VU has equipped her with knowledge and honed her leadership skills, preparing her to blaze trails wherever life takes her. With a selfless spirit and a heart brimming with compassion, Hannah is poised to continue making a remarkable mark on the world, one act of kindness at a time.

Below, Hannah reflects on her VU experiences, shares her career aspirations, what makes her a Trailblazer, and more.

Where is home for you? 

“I was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. Being from the 219 allows me to appreciate any form of success I accomplish. I’m also reminded to apply myself in everything I do because there are certain opportunities that you must take advantage of.”

Please share a little about yourself before you enrolled as a VU student.

“Growing up, my parents were my role models. They taught me how to be the person that I am today. My father would be the one to teach me about the hard things in life, the things you know you’ll have to face one day. From how to deal with friendships to how to save your money, I don’t think there was one thing my dad didn’t know. In terms of my mother, she always amazed me because of how high her faith always was. Having a praying mother really got me through the years and it got me to where I am today. Because my mother would light up any room with her laugh, smile, and her overall presence, it wasn’t hard to consider her my role model.”

Why did you choose VU? 

“Silly enough, after touring VU as a young teenager, I can admit the pool was something that caught my eye. Still, because many schools didn’t have my specific major, VU was still my main school of interest. It was one of the first college tours I went on during middle school. Not only was I satisfied with what VU had to offer, but enrolling in college has always been the main goal for me. Not only did I want to do this for myself, but for my late grandpa as well. He was one to always believe in me. When he passed, I made a promise to keep making him proud. Remembering that promise and knowing he’s watching over me keeps me motivated and on track. Not only do I want to make him and the rest of my family proud, but I want to set an example for my sister who is three years younger than me. As her older sister, I want to be somebody she can look up to.”

Why do you want to pursue a career as a funeral home professional? 

“I believe that it takes a special person to fulfill the duties and tasks for this occupation. I remember being at my Granny’s funeral in 2015 and seeing how well the funeral directors worked with my family and how well they laid my Granny to rest. Ever since then, being a mortician has always been my career goal. Some people consider me odd for picking up this kind of work, but in the end, it’s all about assisting families and trying to help them feel better during a difficult time.”

What are your plans after VU? 

“I plan on starting my career at a funeral home. I also plan on spending a lot of time traveling and exploring new hobbies. I want to start living in the moment and taking in reality while creating new experiences. I also hope to be more active in my community back at home. Our city is in the process of growing to its full potential and I want to help contribute to that. I solely believe, if you want to see change in your community, it starts with you.”

What are your additional dreams and goals? 

“I’ve always considered myself to be a good writer. Even my second-grade teacher would call me, “Hannah, The Writer.” So, publishing a book or two is on my bucket list. After getting comfortable in the funeral industry, I plan on being a paramedic. Working in healthcare would be another way for me to help others. In my later adult years, I hope to open many homeless shelters and to be more helpful to my community by providing essential resources.”

What has been your most significant experience at VU, in or out of the classroom? 

“Although I have countless memories at VU, the ones I’ve cherished the most are the ones with the friends I’ve made here. I’m grateful for all my friends because they make the harder days easier. On the other hand, I can say VU has contributed to my overall growth as a person. I’ve learned new things and even discovered new things about myself. I believe Vincennes University has prepared me for my new career and for life after college.

What makes you a Trailblazer?

“My ability to make it happen no matter how hard the mission is or how hard it may seem. My tendency to lead and stand out in any room and not be afraid to jump at opportunities. I hope everything VU has taught me and prepared me for is equipped within me as I continue life’s journey.”

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