Wake County Public School System

Hall of Fame

BUSINESS

Robert L. “Roddy” Jones

Business leader Robert “Roddy” Jones has played a key role in shaping Raleigh’s transformation from the parochial city of his youth to the dynamic metropolitan center of today.

A graduate of Needham B. Broughton High School, Roddy’s business career began when he returned to Raleigh after graduating from East Carolina University. He started as a carpenter for his family’s construction business, Davidson & Jones, and worked his way up the company ladder to become President. Roddy is widely credited with the company’s decision to shift its focus from residential to commercial construction, a move that benefitted both the company and his community. During this era, Davidson & Jones delivered several high-impact projects, including Crabtree Valley Mall, The Raleigh Civic and Convention Center, the North Raleigh Hilton, Highwoods Business Park, and the American Airlines terminal at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He is equally proud to have constructed two Wake County Schools: East Wake High School and Southeast Raleigh High School.

Roddy’s energies were not confined to making a physical mark on the community, he also set about making less visible, but equally lasting, improvements to state and local education. While serving as Chair of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, he helped launch the Wake Education Partnership (now WakeEd Partnership), as the first independent local educational fund in North Carolina. In turn, he was involved with WakeEd’s “Pieces of Gold” celebration, an annual blockbuster performance of over 1,000 Wake County students.

After chairing East Carolina’s Board of Trustees, Roddy accepted an appointment to the UNC System’s Board of Governors (BOG) which he chaired for two of his eighteen years of service. While on the BOG he was instrumental in getting the legislature’s approval to accept academic credits from the community college system at all 16 public universities. In need of Roddy’s building experience, the county commissioners appointed him to a special committee to evaluate the Wake County Public School System’s building practices.

Roddy was equally aware that all students were not destined for college, but nonetheless needed a path to achieve success in a trade. While serving as President of the Carolina’s Branch of the Associated General Contractors, he was instrumental in establishing the Carolinas Construction Training Council, which partnered with high schools and technical colleges to increase the number of students prepared to enter construction and mechanical trades. The Lt. Governor appointed Roddy to the North Carolina Vocational Advisory Board serving Wake County and the state.

Throughout his career, Roddy has demonstrated a passion for education, serving on college boards statewide. Locally, he served on the Board of Trustees for Peace College, Shaw University, and Ravenscroft School. He remains active in various civic affairs where he continues to make lasting contributions to his community.

In 2019, Roddy Jones was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame and the Wake County Public School System Hall of Fame for his lifetime of service to the community.