Thomas E. Jones served as president from 1946-58.
Jones grew up in Fairmount, Indiana, attended Fairmount Academy, graduated from Earlham and received a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia. A recorded Quaker minister, he worked as executive secretary of the Young Friends movement. He had lived in Japan while his wife Esther served as a missionary.
Jones was serving as president of Fisk University when asked to become Earlham's next president. Under Jones's leadership enrollment rose from 225 to almost 1000, $10 million dollars was raised for campus improvements, and the faculty was transformed. Jones developed the "Earlham Idea," a vision for Earlham's present and future. Jones engaged in fundraising not only for buildings, but for higher salaries for faculty as well.