Philanthropy Day Honors Barbara Barrington Jones

Barbara Barrington Jones

Barbara Barrington Jones, philanthropist and founder of the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation who was recently named Utah's Woman Making a Difference, received the Philanthropic Leadership Award at the 2014 Utah Philanthropy Day. Through her support of schools, museums, childcare, youth mentorship, and the arts, Barbara has dedicated her life to her foundation and its mission to bring hope and confidence to young people and to women.

When Barrington Jones moved to Utah in 2010, she quickly took an interest in the community. She soon became acquainted with Utah Valley University and has provided support for several important university priorities.


In the spring of 2012, Barrington Jones attended a luncheon hosted by UVU first lady Paige Holland, where she learned of UVU's need for an expansion of its current child-care center. One of the biggest reasons Utah lags behind other states in postsecondary graduation rates for women is the lack of affordable child care for young mothers. Before her happy second marriage, Barrington Jones once had to endure the trials of being a single mother herself after years of spousal abuse and the suicide of her first husband. She understood why President Holland made the expansion of the childcare center a top priority. Not only did she generously donate $2 million to the cause but she also poured her energy into rallying friends and supporters from her network into supporting the project as well. Thanks to her help, the new Wee Care Center, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, opened its doors in time for the 2014 spring semester.

Barbara Barrington Jones with children

As a former professional dancer, Barrington Jones takes great joy in supporting UVU dance programs and attending performances. She encouraged and provided financial support that enabled the UVU Ballroom Dance Company to accept an invitation from China to represent the United States among professional ballroom dance ensembles from sixteen other nations in September 2013. The two-week trip was a success, and as a result, UVU was invited to participate again. Barrington Jones also established a professorship in ballroom dance that provides important recognition and financial support to the program's teachers.

Barrington Jones is a member of the President's Circle, UVU's prestigious lifetime giving society. She also serves as a member of the Utah Valley University Foundation board, where she provides active leadership and wise counsel to the institution.

Barrington Jones has been equally involved in other parts of the community as well. She has formed an association with Utah's Ballet West. Her foundation also supports the I CAN DO program, which gives children the opportunity to experience dance first hand. Her quest to help children also led her to donate $3 million to the construction of the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point.

In regard to Barrington Jones's philanthropy, CEO of the UVU Foundation Marc Archambault said, "It is a profoundly humbling experience to speak of a woman who has endured such terrible trials in her life but has risen above them to become a remarkable, loving individual and a force for good in our community."