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Political science professor dies unexpectedly

By Grace Moody, News Editor

Augustus "Gus" Jones, a political science professor at Miami University, died unexpectedly Thursday.

Provost Phyllis Callahan sent out an email to faculty Friday afternoon.

"It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of our colleague," Callahan wrote.

Jones' career at Miami started in 1987. Jones graduated from Clark University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts and later earned his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis in 1980.

Jones was a well-liked and influential professor, as well as a researcher of American civil liberties, according to a memo written by Patrick Haney, chair of the Department of Political Science.

"This is an incredibly sad day for all of us," Haney said in the memo. "Dr. Jones was a very special person, friend, and colleague: unfailingly upbeat and supportive, a great teacher, a thoughtful scholar …"

Jones was awarded Outstanding Educator by the Miami University Alumni Association in 1999 and was named the Distinguished Educator by the College of Arts and Science in 2002.

Haney said Harrison Hall wouldn't be the same without Jones. He will be missed among Miami students and faculty.

"This is an incredibly sad loss," Haney said. "Gus was a great teacher, friend and colleague."

President David Hodge tweeted about Jones' death on Friday.

"Deeply saddened by the unexpected death of Dr. Gus Jones," Hodge wrote, "beloved professor of political science and constitutional law, mentor, and friend."

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Many former students and colleagues responded on Twitter.

"Absolutely, without a doubt, one of the most influential professors I ever had," one response said.

Haney said the department administration is distributing final grades for Jones' students.

Haney said the significance of this loss is hard to describe. He is working with other political science faculty to organize a way to honor Jones' memory.

Jones is survived by two children, Juanita and Augustus Jr.