Milligan mourns the death of its former president and chancellor, Dr. Donald R. Jeanes

Dr. Donald R. JeanesMILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (Aug. 27, 2012) – Milligan College mourns the death of its 14th president and chancellor, Dr. Donald R. Jeanes, who passed away unexpectedly on Monday morning, Aug. 27, 2012.

This comes as a great shock to us all,” said Milligan President Bill Greer. “As our 14th president and chancellor, Don’s presence at Milligan has been deep and far-reaching. His influence helped reshape the college physically, academically, financially, and relationally with the community and churches. Don was a great personal friend to many of us, and this is a great loss.”

The Milligan community will gather today at 12:15 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium of Seeger Memorial Chapel for a time of prayer and remembrance. A campus-wide convocation service will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 11 a.m. in Seeger.

He is survived by his wife Clarinda, a 1971 Milligan graduate; a daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Brad Folck, both 1999 Milligan graduates; and grandsons Eli and Hayden.

Jeanes was inaugurated as the 14th president of Milligan in October of 1997. He retired in July 2011 and continued to serve the college as chancellor. Under his leadership, Milligan experienced significant growth and achievement. 

A native of Georgia, Jeanes was a 1968 magna cum laude graduate of Milligan College. After graduation, he served as director of financial aid and assistant to the business manager at Milligan while attending Emmanuel Christian Seminary. In 1972, he received his master of divinity degree, with honors, from Emmanuel Christian Seminary. 

Jeanes joined the faculty at Atlanta Christian College where he taught Bible and humanities and administered the student financial aid program for six years. In 1978 he was named administrative vice president of the college where he served until 1984. During this time he did doctoral coursework at Emory University. 

An ordained minister, Jeanes served as associate minister and operations manager at First Christian Church in Johnson City from 1984 to 1986. He then was called to serve as senior minister of Spring Branch Christian Church in Houston, Texas. In 1991, he returned to First Christian Church in Johnson City, this time as senior minister. From that ministry, he was chosen to be named president of Milligan College in 1997.

Jeanes was an active member of Milligan’s Board from 1981 until his appointment as president. In 1994 he was awarded the honorary doctorate of divinity degree by Milligan College. 

In the community and church, Dr. Jeanes served on the boards of Christian Missionary Fellowship, the Christian Church Foundation for the Handicapped, Mountain States Health Alliance, Elders of First Christian Church, Johnson City and the State of Franklin Savings Bank. He was a member of the Johnson City Rotary Club, having served as president in 2000-2001. He served as a volunteer chaplain at the Johnson City Medical Center for a number of years. Dr. Jeanes also served as the chairman of the Johnson City Symphony Board and was the Chairman of the NACC Board of Stewards.


Visitation will be 1:00–3:00 pm and 6:00–8:00 pm on Thursday, August 30 at First Christian Church, Johnson City.

A celebration of life service is scheduled for Friday, August 31 in Seeger Memorial Chapel at 1:00 p.m.

Watch the service live on Livestream.


Johnson City Press Obituary

Please share your memories of Dr. Don Jeanes or offer condolences to the Jeanes family.

Read a letter from President Greer addressing the loss of Dr. Don Jeanes.

Watch video footage by WJHL from the prayer service on Aug. 17

Johnson City Press article

Johnson City Press Editorial

Elizabethton Star article


Thank You, Don and Clarinda Jeanes

"Memories Sweet" – Highlights of the life and career of Don Jeanes



MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit or call 800-447-5922.