Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeNewsHome Town show visits campus for remodel of original president's home

Home Town show visits campus for remodel of original president’s home

Jones College welcomed alumni Ben and Erin Napier of HGTV’s Home Town back onto campus for a summer renovation project of the home of Assistant to the President, Jon Ryan Fennell and his wife Ginny.

The home, built in 1913, served as a Home Economics building until the 1930s. In 1933, the building was reconstructed to serve as the President’s Home. President M.P. Bush was the first to reside in the house.

Jon Ryan said his goal in this project was to preserve the history of the home.

“I want to make this house feel like a home,” Jon Ryan said. “But I want to do so while holding respect to the original purpose of the home.”

Inside the home, guests will find many unique pieces of furniture from across campus. The Music Room houses a piano original to the Fine Arts Building, and the living room holds a bookshelf original to the campus.

Ginny said her desire was for the family-oriented idea of Jones College to be felt in every aspect.

“We want to host people in this home,” Jenny said. “We want it to feel like family.”

That family aspect was implemented in the remodeling of the home, as many alumni and faculty members assisted with the project.

Ben and Erin said this project was about homecoming for them. The Napiers met on the Jones campus, and returning to be a part of something huge was an honor for them.

“I graduated from Ole Miss, but that’s not what I think of when I think back on my college experience,” Erin said. “I think of my days here at Jones, and all of the wonderful memories I made. Jones brought Ben and I together. Jones is family. This project is a homecoming for us.”

The episode premiered on January 21, 2024. During the day of the premier, the home was opened to faculty and staff of Jones College for tours. Following the open house, staff and students were invited to a watch party held in the M.P. Bush Fine Arts Auditorium.

During the watch party, Jones College President Jesse Smith introduced the new Erin and Ben Napier School of Building and Designing Arts.

Ben said this was a huge honor for him and his family.

“It’s not even so much that it’s an honor for us,” Ben said. “I cannot wait for our grandparents and parents to hear about this. But mostly, for our daughters.”

The Erin and Ben Napier School of Building and Designing Arts is set to open Fall 2025.

“Community colleges change lives,” said Erin. “We are so thankful for this one and what it did for our lives.”

Haidyn Houston

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Gracie Puckett on Election week is approaching