From Willard Straight to Wall Street

A Memoir

by Thomas W. Jones

In stark and compelling prose, Thomas W. Jones tells his story as a campus revolutionary who led an armed revolt at Cornell University in 1969 and then altered his course over the next fifty years to become a powerful leader in the financial industry including high-level positions at John Hancock, TIAA-CREF and Citigroup as Wall Street plunged into its darkest hour.

From Willard Straight to Wall Street provides a front row seat to the author's triumphs and struggles as he was twice investigated by the SEC—and emerged unscathed. His searing perspective as an African American navigating a world dominated by whites reveals a father, a husband, a trusted colleague, a Cornellian, and a business leader who confronts life with an unwavering resolve that defies cliché and offers a unique perspective on the issues of race in America today.

The book begins on the steps of Willard Straight Hall where Jones and his classmates staged an occupation for two days that demanded a black studies curriculum at Cornell. The Straight Takeover resulted in the resignation of Cornell President James Perkins with whom Jones reconciled years later. On 9/11, Jones witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center from his office at ground zero and then observed first-hand the wave of scandals that swept the banking industry over the next decade.

From Willard Straight to Wall Street is a quintessentially American story brimming with passion and conviction, told with a mixture of pride and regret. For a country still grappling with racial issues fifty years later, this is a seminal account of a life of dramatic action and necessary reflection.

Thomas W. Jones is founder and senior partner of venture capital investment firm TWJ Capital. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Global Investment Management at Citigroup; Vice Chairman, President, and Chief Operating Officer at TIAA-CREF; and Senior Vice-President and Treasurer at John Hancock Insurance Company. Jones received Masters degrees from Cornell University and Boston University, and holds honorary doctoral degrees from Howard University, Pepperdine University, and College of New Rochelle.

Metadata

  • isbn
    978-1-5017-3634-6
  • publisher
    Cornell University Press
  • publisher place
    Ithaca, NY
  • restrictions
    Copyright © Cornell University. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • rights holder
    Cornell Univerity