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The Jennings & Rebecca Jones Chair of Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning


In 1995, Jennings A. Jones had a dream. This is not really unusual for a man who is a visionary. He has been dreaming all of his life. What is unusual is that he makes his dreams come true.

Mr. Jones dreamed of a program that would assist the citizens of middle Tennessee to create a better future through urban and regional planning. He approached President James E. Walker at Middle Tennessee State University about establishing such a program. And the dreams began to take form.

Jennings and Rebecca Jones provided $625,000. With matching funds from the State of Tennessee, the Jennings and Rebecca Jones Chair of Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning at Middle Tennessee State University was established in 1997.


The Jennings and Rebecca Jones Chair of Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning produces and disseminates information relevant to the planning needs and issues in the mid state region. It encourages dialogue on these important issues among area policymakers, opinion leaders, and the broader community of interest.


  • Promote applied research and service focused on regional and urban planning
  • Provide a forum for the discussion of regional and urban issues and for the development of solutions to promote effective economic development
  • Act as a resource to the regional community of interest in identifying, analyzing, and solving problems
  • Encourage interactions of faculty and students with practitioners in a broad range of industries and institutions influenced and expected to be impacted by growth
  • Support the on-campus development of curriculum materials and faculty more conversant with the issues of the region.


Area Focus

Currently the Chair of Excellence focuses on the Nashville Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson) plus the counties of Maury and Montgomery.